Anna Janelle's Reviews > A Thousand Pardons

A Thousand Pardons by Jonathan  Dee
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Feb 17, 13

bookshelves: first-reads, advanced-reader-copy
Read from November 26, 2012 to February 12, 2013 — I own a copy

Fairly fantastic. I received this books eons ago as an ARC, and then grad school happened. Unfortunately, I've only had time to read about RDA rules and DBMS conceptual entity-relationship diagrams lately. On a long car trip back from Atlantic City, I managed to fit in a reading of what turned out to be a wonderful read. I both thank and apologize to Jonathan Dee and Random House for the delay in reading this copy (although it looks like the release date has been pushed back from the original drop of 2/19/2013). Regardless of when it is released, readers take heed and grab a copy as soon as it hits the shelves.

The characters were just so real. I appreciated the fact that they were, in turns, sympathetic, dynamic and off-putting. In other words, they were human. I felt connected to the Armsteads; I felt like they were family, my family and there was a particular sadness to the situation that rang true to me. Yes, I come from a "broken" home in that my parents got divorced when I was twelve or thirteen - just like Sara in the book. And yes, while there were moments of tremendous trauma and heartache, my family made it to the other side. That is what this book is about - bridging over bad times, desperately reaching for the other side of the life-changing event of divorce.

Even though the novel focused on other characters, namely the couple at the center of the drama, Helen and Ben Armstead, I connected to Sara, the trusted, angst-filled child who drops from her parents' radar during the messy divorce (and associated scandal). I am that girl. The reading of this novel was cathartic, in more ways than one. As I said, it is about making it to the other side of divorce - documenting that trauma, that sad and confusing process of rebuilding shattered lives.

I'd definitely welcome another read. As I mentioned in my status updates, the Hamilton component of the book did not become immediately clear. It was a fun addition to the family's personal drama, and he acted as a catalyst for the change that occurred.

And talk about quotable. THIS book has some gems. I just may join the crowds on the release date - if only for the ability to "check [my] copy against the finished book." *shakes fist at ARC status. Karen (you know, the numero uno reviewer there on this here site) has larger balls than I do. She posted some really poignant quotes in her review.

Five stars all day long.
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Reading Progress

02/03/2013 "I'm juggling so many books right now, but I can't settle down and focus my attention on just one. I've contracted book related ADD *shame* i'm going to commit this time -really."
02/06/2013 page 26
11.0% "A comical sadness has infused the first part of this read, culminating in Helen's family's fall from society's good graces. Her husband Ben is pathetic, but I can relate to his apathy and boredom with life's monotony. I wish I could quote, but it's an ARC. Thanks to Random House and Jonathan Dee for this First Read win."
02/07/2013 page 44
19.0% "The break or shift between Chapters 1 & 2 was disorienting to me as a reader. Several pages in, I'm still asking myself - who is this Hamilton and where did Helen go?"
02/08/2013 page 120
53.0% "The Hamilton-Helen connection/reunion could be right around the corner on the red carpet. Is it bad I feel sympathy for the estranged husband Ben? I LIKE the guy and feel terrible about his self-made mess."
02/11/2013 page 224
100.0% "Wonderful. Simply wonderful. I'll write the review as soon as I'm not fully occupied with homework."

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