It's easy to be a Laura Lippman fan, especially when she writes such rich and complex characters like Tess Monaghan. But in this novel we meet another strong and complex woman in Heloise Lewis. As always, Lippman keeps you guessing to the very end. I hope we hear more from Heloise, and maybe even a novel featuring Tess and Heloise together!
It's a good one.... you won't be sorry!
I had to write my thoughts as a balance to all the rave reviews for this work. Those reviews are the reason I kept trying to get through 'The Paying Guests' In the end, it wasn't worth the time or the credit.
This is a slow, interior moral drama. It takes 8 hours to get to the pivotal conflict and the next five hours are all hand wringing.
I will say that Juliet Stevenson is phenomenal in her narration. But the plot was one dimensional, thin and plodding.
This is an odd work. The author is carried by her zeal for the project, but the 'book' would have been better shaped into an article with a good editor.
The idea that our popular beliefs about Richard III have been shaped by Shakespeare's iconic tragedy (and thus by his benefactors the Tudors) is worthy of exploration and commentary. However, this author, while clearly passionate (a bit weirdly so) doesn't seem to have the academic or journalistic discipline necessary for the undertaking. It is all about her excitement for the project, and is a disorganized mess.
Her discussion of the archeological dig is mind numbing. No detail to small. (Where is her editor??) The IDEA for the book has merit, but as it is, it is tedious and redundant. There are long portions where it feels she is simply reading her daily planner. It would be wonderful to see this material in the work of a gifted and disciplined writer.
As a fan of Lee Smith, I was caught off guard by the nature of this story. The ending is abrupt, disturbing and unsettling.
... I should admit that I was a bit of a Peretti fan back in the 80s when he landed with an 'oomph' on the 'Christian Lit' scene. What can I say? I was young and hadn't read (or thought) widely. I am still a devout Christ follower, but frustrated that much of 'Christian Literature' remains shrill and one dimensional. (And in this case bigoted, predictable and misogynistic.)
If you are looking for thoughtful timeless prose, consider Tolstoy or Victor Hugo. You won't find it here.
Goodwin's research is so detailed she manages not only to weave together an engaging plot, but these larger than life characters actually grow and change. We see their vices and virtues and how they impact the nation overtime. I can't say enough about this book.
This may be the best of Goodwin's already impressive body of work.
I am new to Harlan Coben, and I had hoped to really love his work. If this is any indication I won't be trying others. The main character is a mopey, not so bright female detective who spends most of the book pining for a man who dumped her 18 years ago. A feminist manifesto it's not. I would call it mildly distracting. Pass.
Attention fans of the bodice ripper -- this is NOT historical fiction. If you are looking for petticoats and princes this is not for you. It's also NOT a romance, although there is a lot of sex.
I know it's very stylish to adore this genre of fiction, gritty and surreal. I found the main character in turns boring and annoying. Clearly many people are quite enthralled with this author - who am I to quibble?
Still I would like a book to educate me, challenge me or entertain me. Like a good Russian novel, this one mostly depressed me.
Despite all that, there is much craft here; well-writen and very nicely performed by Adam Grupper. Before you buy, just know -- it's for an acquired kind of taste.
This was recorded and mastered for CD and needs to be revisited for the digital format. Aside from production quality, the narrator is uninspiring to the point of distraction.
The book is another excellent offering from Ms. Patchett.
I've read other Lisa Gardner's so I have a thick skin. But this one goes too far. The book graphically describes child sexual abuse, rape and murder. The author has become as bad as the pornographers and exploiters of children she depicts. This is not fiction, this is pornography.
I felt like I'd spent a day antique shopping in a sweet little Southern town. Enjoyable beach read.
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