If you are addicted to Lee Child's writing, then you're going to want to read this book. I had a few problems with the plot. . . some of it was diffic...moreIf you are addicted to Lee Child's writing, then you're going to want to read this book. I had a few problems with the plot. . . some of it was difficult to me to follow, and seemed totally far-fetched, but I could probably say that about most of Lee Child's plots and writing, and I love his books anyway!
At a few points in this book I felt like the protagonist, Jack Reacher, was a little out of character, or at least I hadn't noticed these characteristics about him before. For example, at one point he makes a reference to earlier in his military career, being inclined to throw a chair through a diner window if he didn't like the food. I've thought of Jack Reacher as being risk-taking and even uncompromising, but not mean-spirited. But this is just a quibble. And it's Jack Reacher, who earns a lot of brownie points so a lot can be forgiven.
This book had the usual impact on me where, at the end of the book, I was in a funk because now the book was over, and my unread Lee Child books are dwindling. . . .(less)
I found this to be short and sweet, but nothing special. I was drawn into the puzzle of finding out the secret of Win's family, of hearing the explana...moreI found this to be short and sweet, but nothing special. I was drawn into the puzzle of finding out the secret of Win's family, of hearing the explanation for things like Emily's grandfather's abnormal height, the magical wallpaper, the relentless checking of the clothes dryer, the unusual ability to smell cakes being baked across the town, black soot left by Sawyer's ex-husband on other women. Eventually there was a revelation for Win's family's secret, and the mysterious Mullaby lights in the woods, but it was extremely unsatisfying and anti-climactic. SPOILER ALERT: The males of the family glow in the dark? That's it? And somehow this is justification for Win's father to have kept this secret from his mother for 2 years after their marriage?
And explanations for the other odd characteristics? Well, there weren't any. The reader is expected to just accept them as nice little quirks about the characters of the town. What made this particularly frustrating to me was that the book seemed to promise that it was a mystery that would have an eventual revelation; doesn't this normally involve explaining all the magical characteristics, rather than just one that the author picked?
Perhaps this is an unfair perspective on young adults, but I kept looking to see if I had missed the classification of this book as YA. It's not; but maybe it shouldn't be foisted on them, either.(less)
This book does have a compelling central conflict that does pull you in right from the beginning, but I found little else to recommend this book. Dr....moreThis book does have a compelling central conflict that does pull you in right from the beginning, but I found little else to recommend this book. Dr. David Henry and Norah have twins during a blizzard in 1964; he delivers them, and tells her that the 2nd child, Phoebe, a little girl with Down syndrome, died at birth, and instructs his nurse, Carolyn Gill, to whisk the newborn away off to an institution. Carolyn cannot go through with this, and runs away with the baby.
Obviously, there are going to be some problems, and I wanted to know the outcome, of how someone could live with this terrible deception and what it will do to the people involved.
But the process of resolving it is needlessly, laboriously, drawn out--for many, many pages. Enough pages that if you have a chunk of hours of your life that you hate, you can waste them on the middle 7/8ths of this book. Otherwise, turn it into a short story, read the first 50 or so pages, and then skip to the last 20, and call it a day!
I did not like the main characters or find them to be particular believable, interesting, or likable. The only main character who showed any promise was Carolyn, who, although still not particularly believable, was somewhat interesting. This was sadly diluted, however, by frequent introductions of minor characters who seem to show no other purpose than allow for endlessly descriptive, dull, detours and passages that delayed getting to any kind of resolution.
The experience of reading this book is like being told that something monumental and significant is about to be announced, like you are holding the winning ticket in a contest, and then enduring a great deal of hype and then getting told something anti-climactic and lame, like "you just won a $2.00 off coupon."