Books Read Last Week
Ill Will; Dan Chaon
Ballantine Books - 2017
(My Thoughts) - In the present, Dustin is psychologist in Cleveland, Ohio who has recently lost his wife to cancer. He has 2 grown sons, one in college and another struggling with drug addiction. Some 30 years earlier Dustin's parents, aunt and uncle were brutally murdered. The individual convicted of the crime was his adopted foster brother Rusty who has spent decades in prison until DNA evidence later proved his innocence. So who was the real killer? In addition to this crime, there is also a present day serial killer thread that runs through the story. Ill Will is a gripping thriller that hooked me from the very beginning but, it's not a quick or easy read. The story is told by a series of narrators, some in the first person and others in the third. A lot of the story relies on memories, some events having occurred some 30 years earlier, while the story jumps back and forth in time. Despite this it's a well written novel that kept me on the edge of my seat. Worth reading (4/5 stars)
All the Stars in the Heavens; Adriana Trigiani
Harper - 2015
(March Book Group Read) - Loosely based on the true Hollywood love story of actress Loretta Young and Clark Gable who meet on the set filming Call of the Wild in 1935. Clark Gable is married and 13 years her senior. Alda Ducci, was in training to be a nun at an orphanage when she was forced to leave. She is given a job as Loretta Young's personal secretary, a job which she's ill prepared for given the contrast between her background and the things that go on in Hollywood yet, the two grow very close. The Hollywood story includes other stars such as David Niven, Spencer Tracy, Myrna Loy and a few others as well. Although I liked Alda's story, I struggled with this book, finding the dialogue between the stars trivial and uninteresting which resulted in my skipping pages while plodding along. can't recommend this one.
The other women in my book group (most older than me) seemed to enjoy what they described as a "trip down memory lane" so I found myself, along with one other reader about my age to be the only ones disappointed by this offering. (2/5 stars overall)
Swing Time; Zadie Smith
Penguin Random House Audio - 2016
(My Thoughts) - This was a DNF for me. I had high hopes for this novel of first friendships between two biracial girls in London who dream of being dancers, even though only one (Tracey) has real talent. The story is told in the first person by an unnamed narrator and later by Tracey. I started out enjoying the audio but as the story moved from past to present and back again and location to location. London, New York and West Africa, I found myself losing interest. After falling asleep listening 3 nights in a row, I decided to abandon ship. (Honestly, the story seemed unfocused and, I'm not sure I would have enjoyed this one any more if I had tried the print version instead -- probably just not for me. (DNF)
Widowmaker; Paul Dorion
Macmillan Audio - 2016
The Futures; Anna Pitoniak
Lee Bourreaux Books - 2017
(3) new books arrived by mail last week. I think they all sound great.
- How to Be Human; Paula Cocozza (Metropolitan Books - Amazon Vine)
- The Hideaway; Lauren Denton (Thomas Nelson - Amazon Vine)
- Chasing the North Star; Robert Morgan (Algonquin)
How was your week ?