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Book Review: Women’s Fiction

Posted by on Aug 7, 2017 | 0 comments

The Good Sister by Jess Ryder

♥♥♥

Women’s Fiction

This novel is told from multiple first-person perspectives about a privileged family, the Warners. It’s also told from the perspective of the caretaker, Matt, and the cleaning woman, Maggie Sue. The Warner family is not easy to like. They come together in Nantucket every summer.

We know that something bad happens over the Fourth of July holiday, and as the different characters tell their side of the story, bits and pieces of what is assumed to be an accident emerge, as does their lifetime of resentments and regrets. There is the daughter, uptight Caroline, who married a nice guy and is hyper protective of her twelve-year-old daughter because of her own experience. There is Tom, the brother Caroline bickers with endlessly. The mother, Alice, has the most distinct voice because of her aversion to technology and change. She resents people moving to Nantucket and building or renovating houses.

I liked the pacing of the story, but the characters weren’t particularly likeable, and I’m not sure the subplot and mystery were fully revealed. I don’t mind books that make you think for yourself, but even so, this was a little too vague for my liking.

Thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity to review this book.

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Book Review: Fiction

Posted by on Aug 5, 2017 | 0 comments

The Best Kinds of People by Zoe Whittall

♥♥♥♥

Fiction

This novel starts out strong. When George Woodbury, a respected teacher, is arrested for sexual misconduct with minors and attempted rape of a minor, the lives of his wife of nearly thirty years and his children, Andrew, a lawyer, and seventeen-year-old Sadie, are torn in pieces.

The arrest divides the town of Avalon and the private school where George teaches and Sadie is a senior. It was hard reading the stuff from the men’s rights group, who think women make up rape charges when sex didn’t go as they wanted or they felt some kind of guilt for their bad behavior. But that was the point: Do you believe George, who has never said anything improper about young girls and whose computer is without child porn, or do you believe the young women?

As his wife and children waver about whether they believe his claims that he’s being set up, they find themselves ostracized at work, school, and church. Andrew fairs better since he lives in the city, not the small town anymore, but it wreaks havoc on his relationship with his long-term partner.

I didn’t love the ending. Maybe it was the author’s point that such cases are never black and white, but in the world of fiction, I wish the author had made some different choices.

Thanks to NetGalley and Ballantine for the opportunity to review this book.

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