Not a fan of this book. There was a lot of potential but I don't think the author pulled it all together. I feel she tried to say too much.
The plot w...moreNot a fan of this book. There was a lot of potential but I don't think the author pulled it all together. I feel she tried to say too much.
The plot was lacking, but it felt more like it was more an excuse for a social essay on violence against women, small town violence, factory farming, big pharma, school violence, eating locally, growing your own food, blah blah blah.
From the jacket I thought I would be reading a book about the murder of Wendy White, but that really didn't seem to be at the core of the story. We never find out exactly who raped her, only who Alice thinks raped her. And then Alice extracts her revenge in an attack at school.
I thought it was really far fetched that everyone and their father in Haeden would know where Wendy was and rape her, but no one would talk. I know from looking at the other comments that was based on a true story but I didn't buy it here. If the author was going to pull that off then I think we would have to have known more about what happened to Wendy when she was held captive and also get a better picture of her abusers. Instead the characters and motivations are just glossed over and it seems like that was an element of the plot just for shock value.
While reading I thought at least all the environmental issues would eventually tie in with the motive for murder but that, and many of the other "themes" don't seem to have anything to do with the plot.
Wendy was the only character who I found likeable. I thought the relationship between Con, Mikki, Claire, and Gene was very strange. Con and Mikki are central characters but I still can't figure out what they add to the plot other than being the link that sent the Pipers to Haeden. Alice was a peculiar child and at times she seemed much younger than her age, and at other times overly mature. I never felt like the Pipers were a real family and didn't sense a real connection between any of them. It was so odd that Alice referred to her parents by their first names constantly.
I don't have a problem with jumping around in time, and switching points of view, but it didn't work here. There were a lot of chapters that had nothing to do with the story, but were an excuse to talk about things like pollution, and especially the pharma industry. There were also several sections that were interviews with townspeople which really seemed disjointed and didn't add much. It sort of felt like City Confidential or something, but without the juicy parts.
Another gripe I had was all the chapters that were just Alice's school reports. I started to skip through them. I don't know what the author was trying to show besides that Alice was a smart kid, but I already had that figured out.
One more annoyance I have to mention... practically every scene we hear about how things smelled. The author overdid it with the descriptive language in a lot of trivial scenes. We get it, Gene smells like sweat and dirt.
I listened to this on cd and didn't care for the narrator either (Somewhat Bruneau). Her voices for each character were over exaggerated, and she had a bit of a whistle when she talked. Her reading of child characters was especially maddening.
So why not one star? Hmm, well there were glimmers of promise and a few times when I was engaged and excited for what happened next (although ended up let down each time).(less)
This was a fast, light, and entertaining read. It earned extra points from me because it is set in Boston (where I am from). True, the characters were...moreThis was a fast, light, and entertaining read. It earned extra points from me because it is set in Boston (where I am from). True, the characters were a bit over-dramatic and immature. However, there were a lot of traits and elements that I've recognized in myself and my friends.(less)
I think there were too many characters and the book was over too long of a time period. I think the author should have picked on or the other. It'...moreMeh.
I think there were too many characters and the book was over too long of a time period. I think the author should have picked on or the other. It's of average length, but it jumps around these women from just after college graduation until 30 (and there are 3 main characters, but also a lot of story line devoted to another 3 or so).
I also didn't care for the writing style much. The voice of the narrator just seemed so disconnected from all of the characters - like a fly on the wall.
I think the premise of the book is great but it just fell flat.(less)
I read this a year or two ago so I forget many of the details but remember being angry the whole time I was reading the book.
When I started reading i...moreI read this a year or two ago so I forget many of the details but remember being angry the whole time I was reading the book.
When I started reading it and the drowning happened I thought the book would be about that. Then, completely unrelated, the main character is accused of molestation. The author tries to explore that plot and the fallout of the drowning, but it just seemed completely disconnected and forced.
If there was another chapter about someone getting cancer or the farm being ravaged by fire it would have fit right in. It was just a book like "oh this woman's life sucks, so much goes wrong." On top of that I couldn't really relate to her and didn't really care about her.(less)
I saw the ending coming from a mile away. The beginning of the book was good, but I thought the middle and end didn't quite fit. I listened to it on C...moreI saw the ending coming from a mile away. The beginning of the book was good, but I thought the middle and end didn't quite fit. I listened to it on CD and the narrator, Blair Brown did a nice job.(less)
This book was ok. It had its moments of being interesting, but they characters seemed underdeveloped and more like a caricature of themselves.
Webster...moreThis book was ok. It had its moments of being interesting, but they characters seemed underdeveloped and more like a caricature of themselves.
Webster was the "rescuer" the title refers to. His personality and life seem very uninteresting which is why he clings to the need to rescue others. Most of the rescue scenes of strangers in the town add little to the plot, they just show Webster at work, and are pretty uninteresting overall. I kept waiting for those characters to appear later or for those rescue scenes to somehow tie in with the rest of the book but it never happened. Anyhow, he seemed needy and clingy, and his relationship with Sheila was obviously destined for failure.
Sheila had moments of being entertaining, but she was an exaggeration of an alcoholic from Boston. The author hardly showed any other side to her and you couldn't understand what she saw in Webster (not even that she wanted to be rescued). I wasn't surprised when she was forced to leave when Rowan, the daughter, was a toddler.
The author talks about Rowan's personality changing, but the book spends so much time on the unimportant rescue scenes that there aren't really signs or examples until she gets hurt, besides her coming home drunk from a party and puking (is that really that uncommon teenage behavior?)
Anyways, she comes home drunk ONCE, and Webster goes into a panic, drives to Boston, and finds Sheila to ask for her help. He's been a single parent for 15 years and at the first sign of teenage rebellion he runs off to find her missing mother? I could maybe believe it if he did it after Rowan was hurt (later in the book), but that he did it so early seemed unjustified and like he was only doing it for selfish reasons. However, since Webster seemed to have a one-sided obsession with Sheila it doesn't seem out of character. Upon Sheila's return the whole plot seems rushed to end in a neat little package.
All and all there was some good writing and scenes, but the characters, plot and ending left a lot to be desired.(less)