Kathy's Reviews > Listen

Listen by Rene Gutteridge
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Mar 10, 11

Read from March 03 to 08, 2011

I oh-so wanted to like this book, given the VERY intriguing premise: what would happen if all private conversations in a “perfect” small town were made public for all to see? This COULD HAVE been an intelligent, thought-provoking, can’t-put-it-down page-turner (I need more dashes in that sentence, ha!). Sadly, the story was filled with shallow, poorly developed characters and meaningless plot development that never went anywhere. Why was Dave Ramsey even mentioned? What about the whole going-to-church and prayer thing? And who was the one that hung the cat? It seemed like the author wanted to connect with her Christian readers (which is fine) with inside references that only they would “get” (not-so-fine, if they don’t move the story along and are a pointless distraction). The main character, Damien, talks out of both sides of his mouth when he says over and over that words have power and that people need to really listen to each other, and then he cannot bring himself to speak frankly or really listen to his best friend, his wife, his son or his daughter. Moreover, I found it rather bizarre that every female character was obsessed with dressing: they either looked like they were women without morals, were reformed slutty dressers themselves or were judging other women for their skimpy outfits. Puh-leeez. I don’t deny that catty remarks are made by women at times, but almost ALL of the women I know don’t dwell on such things, and would certainly judge the character of a person above how she dresses. This story could have been so much more: an exploration of how our words reinforce our attitudes, and our attitudes dictate our words. It reminds me of a saying an old friend once told me, “if it’s in your heart, it’ll be on your lips sooner or later.” That has served me well in keeping my judgments to myself (although not always perfectly). I give this book 1.5 stars.
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