This week in review

Starting where we left off last week, I finished Happy Family, and I’m sorry to say, it doesn’t get better. I was expecting the “happy” part of the title to be meant ironically but not so much the family part. This really wasn’t a family story so much as a book about this one person who does happen to have some relatives. This character is quite ordinary and hard to care about. Meandering plot with stray bits of casual racism here and there, none of it went anywhere and it ultimately felt pointless. Makes me think of the classic exchange between Lisa and Homer: “Perhaps there is no moral to this story.” “Exactly! It’s just a bunch of stuff that happened.”

Next I started I Let You Go. I am very, very spoiler-averse, and I knew this book had a surprising twist, so I deliberately avoided learning anything else about it before starting. That may have been a little bit of a mistake because the plot centers around a five year old boy getting hit by a car and killed while walking home from school with his mother. Perfect reading for someone whose son just started kindergarten! I would still have read this had I known that, but it was a bit jarring. (Not a spoiler, happens within the first few pages.) Anyway, it did have a very well done twist, but otherwise was fairly ordinary. The writing was a little dull, and the second half of the book is basically Sleeping With the Enemy. And, ugh, there’s a last cringe-worthy eye roller of a twist at the end that is so silly, it almost ruined the whole thing for me. Overall this was just okay for me, but I don’t usually love thrillers in general, so if you do, you may enjoy it more than I did.

Enjoy is far too weak a word to describe how I felt about A Certain Age. I. Loved. This. Book. I’ve only read one other book by this author but I can tell I’m going to love everything she does. This is just a great fun story of high society in 1920’s New York. Point of view jumps back and forth between innocent young heiress Sophie, and less innocent Theresa, a wealthy married woman “of a certain age,” (my age, coincidentally.) Lots of affairs, intrigue, murder, great writing, and awesome Helen Rowland quotes make this an instant favorite. Theresa is one of my favorite characters I’ve encountered in a long time and I loved loved loved how her story ended, but, no spoilers!

Now I’m about halfway through The Girl in the Red Coat. Another thriller! And as usual, I’m finding it just okay. This is a missing child story, told through chapters alternating between the frantic mother and the lost child. I like that we are seeing what’s going on with the missing girl, and that because we’re seeing it from her point of view, it’s confusing as hell. But the alternating chapter thing isn’t really doing it for me here because the girl’s chapters are much more interesting than the mother’s. I am dying to see how it turns out though. No spoilers!