I loved this book, if one can say loved about a story told strictly from the viewpoint of a tragic yet sometimes unsympathetic character such as Eva, the mother of Kevin. I wish I had listened to the book prior to seeing the movie; the twists of plot would have been that much more unexpected. However, I was thrilled to learn there was a book behind the movie that so disturbed me that I could not put it out of my mind; it continued to roil and simmer alternatively. I highly recommend the audiobook; the narration was excellent. After you have digested this multidimensional work, definitely rent the movie and enjoy the tour-de-force that is Tilda Swinton as Eva. I look forward to exploring additional works by Lionel Shriver, a most perceptive and courageous writer to have undertaken a story such as this.
This is a followup piece to Alter's initial Obama book, The Promise. Lots of behind-the-scenes details and context that make it easier to understand the president's thinking in some of the decisions that he has made. Alter is careful to maintain some distance from his subject and analyzes the mistakes that have been made objectively. His portrayal of President Obama helps to flesh out the man that is presented through careful media staging. If you are an Obama supporter, you will like him even more. If you are one of the haters, there is not enough dirt in this book to hold your limited attention.
Having read all of Elizabeth George's Inspector Lynley novels, I'm always pleased to receive a new one. I didn't appreciate the narrator and found her attempts to differentiate between voices unsatisfying. I believe I'll stick to printed matter for this author in the future. The final plot twist was a surprise but not nearly as interesting as "Missing Joseph," nor was the story as captivating as "In the Presence of the Enemy." Bottom line, perhaps I set my standards too high for future novels based on the truly remarkable body of work she has produced in the past. The death of Lynley's wife, Helen, marked the shift in storytelling that has left me dissatisfied. The stories suffer from a lack of witty conversation, and Deborah without Helen becomes more of a childish and immature figure. Overall, Ms. George is head and shoulders above most mystery writers even when she has not produced her best work, and her novels are certainly worth taking the time; however, my joy in following the details of the lives of her characters has diminished.
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