Sunday, June 7, 2015

A Little Adult Fiction

In trying to keep up with all the books my kids are reading, I definitely don't read as many adult novels as I used to - and when I do, I have a hard time finding the time to write my brief reviews of them.  I appreciate having GoodReads to keep track of all my books so when I do have time I can go back and review.  Here are a few from my backlog:

I went to kindergarten with the author of The Possibilities, who gained fame with her first novel The Descendants, which was later made into a movie staring George Clooney.  I was very excited for the release of her second novel, which is set in her new hometown of Breckenridge, Colorado.  The main character has recently lost her 22-year-old son, and is making her way through life - trying to remain as normal as possible, but obviously unable to do so.  While I enjoyed the general story here, I found the main character difficult to comprehend.  I have never lost a child, and clearly every one who has reacts in a different way - copes and grieves in different ways - but there was just something about this character that didn't seem quite realistic to me.  I could, however, be completely wrong.  I found this to be a fine read, but not quite up to the standard of The Descendants.

My mom recently started reading this book and found she couldn't get into it - she asked me if it was worth continuing with - I could not for the life of me remember anything about it.  Exactly the reason I started this blog in the first place - so I could look up books I had read (preferably while still fresh in my mind) and give competent recommendations.  Regardless, my advice to my mom and others is "there are so many books in this world - if there is one that you can't quite get into, move on!"  But, I was myself able to finish this one - it is right up my alley - it's about a few generations of a given family and takes place over several decades (with each chapter representing one year in the life of the family).  It was definitely slow-moving at times, but once I got into the rhythm of the family, I did find myself interested in how it would go.  This is apparently the first book in a proposed trilogy - I hope that the other two will back-track and go more in-depth with certain characters rather than continuing to move forward in this same fashion.

Update: Just realized that the second installment of the trilogy:  Early Warning came out in April.  Looks like it does continue along with the family from 1953 to the early 80s...not what I had in mind, but I am definitely getting myself in the queue at the library!

Anne Tyler is one of my go-to authors for good plot, easy reading.  Her latest is about Abby Whitshank and her family of grown children.  When she starts showing signs of dementia, and her husband Red doesn't seem quite up for the task of taking care of her on his own, two of her children move back home to make sure things keep moving along.  As they come together, the story is told through flashbacks - slowly uncovering various family secrets and hidden motivations.  Kind of one of those books where nothing really happens- except life.  A good beach or lazy Sunday read.

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