Archive for the ‘Character Driven’ Category
THE FAULT IN OUR STARS is a “love story” for our current teen/young adult generation. Like any love story, it is kind of “cheesy” … but not one easy to put down. And it is smart. I liked it a whole lot better than Love Story because it is cynical/realistic and its setting is far more accessible than the Ivy league town of Cambridge, Massachusetts and a star cross relation between rich kid and poor kid.
Justin Chase has adjusted to his life as a barkeep (and the Zen lifestyle) after several years of living without his mother and the man he believed murdered her, his father. However, a strange man, going by the odd name of Birdie Grackle, enters the bar where Justin works and tells him that Justinâ€™s father did not murder his mother. He alleges that Birdie himself murdered her at the request of a woman who hired him to do it. Birdie says he doesnâ€™t know who paid him but that for $10,000 he will track her down. Justin does not agree to pay Birdie and does not immediately believe what Birdie is telling him. With his brother Frankâ€™s urging, Justin visits his father in prison for the first time since his father was sent there 6 years ago.
BREWSTER reads like a melancholy ballad sung by Leonard Cohen, Dylan, or Bruce Springsteen. It’s like driving down a remote, one-lane dark road surrounding a black reservoir, the starless sky doomy and vast. You are headed toward a forgotten city. Now and then a beacon in the distance blinks like a metronomic eye. Brewster is a static town in upstate New York, where it always feels like winter, “weeks-old crusts of ice covering the sidewalks and the yards, a gray, windy sky, smoke torn sideways from the brick chimneys.”
In Christian Jungersen’s YOU DISAPPEAR, translated from the Danish by Misha Hoekstra, forty-two year old Mia Halling’s life will never be the same following a family vacation in Majorca. Mia notices that her husband, Frederik, who is at the wheel of their rental car, is speeding through hairpin turns like a madman. She implores him to slow down, to no avail. Although they crash, they manage to survive. What should have been a relaxing and enjoyable holiday nearly ends in tragedy.
February 4, 2014
Â· Judi Clark Â· No Comments
Tags: 2014 authors, Identity, Married Life, Nan A Talese Â· Posted in: Character Driven, Contemporary, Denmark, Family Matters, Psychological Suspense, Translated, y Award Winning Author
For any reader who revels in confident, lyrical prose â€“ rich in detail with meticulously chosen words â€“ Alice Greenwayâ€™s book will enchant.
The storyline focuses on the elderly and irascible ornithologist Jim Kennoway, who, at the end of his career, retreats to a Maine island after his leg is amputated. There, tortured by past memories and fortified by alcohol and solitude, he eschews the company of others. Yet early on, he receives an unwanted visitor: Cadillac, the daughter of Tosca, who teamed with him as a scout to spy on the Japanese army in the Solomon Islands.
This novel is told in the first person, from the point of view of Luca, a young primary school student living in Italy. His mother is 37 years old and has been profoundly depressed for years, talking little, moving slowly and feeling like her life has ebbed slowly out of her. Often she cries and Luca does not know how to console her. “When Mama has nightmares, she says it’s not possible even to sleep in peace in this world, and that’s what I think too. Other times she says the pills have stolen her dreams, that sleep is just an inky-black nothingness, and she wakes up confused and doesn’t know which way is up. Sometimes she makes coffee without putting in the water or else the coffee.”