I am a fan of Chris Bohjalian, having read several of his previous books. I have especially always liked the thoughtful treatment he gives complex and delicate issues. This book, unfortunately, was a big disappointment. It's over 400 pages long, and easily could have been half this if it was pared down to the essential issues. For some reason, he found it necessary to examine even the smallest details from each character's point of view, which got very tedious, particularly when each person had a similar take on the situation. Additionally, he found it important to go over and over and over the same issues - there is a big secret that the girl who shot her father is hiding and she and her cousin discuss it ad nauseum. Again, I found this very tedious. I ended up skimming the last 100 pages and still feel like I didn't miss anything. My final criticism is that he didn't follow that writer's axiom - write what you know. He clearly knows very little about adolescent girls - other than that they are *boy crazy*!!!) and it showed.
This book was different, in my opinion, from Bohjalian's other works (at least those I've read - Midwives, Trans-sister Radio, Buffalo Soldier, The Law of Similars...), and at first I wasn't sure I liked it. Halfway through the book I was even thinking I might put it down. But I'm so glad I didn't - it was well worth it. Another great read from him. I do still think he's better with the shorter novels that really pack a punch, but at the same time it was great getting to know these characters a bit more intimately. Great use of different character perspectives in telling the story (although it's not one of those obvious devices like naming the chapters after the primary speaker).
I am a huge fan, but this one disappointed me.
This book was quite interesting. I love how it intertwines two familes within one family, connecting all of them: Aunts and nieces, brother and brother-n-law...the family dynamics within this book are great. The depth of the charachters are evident throughout the read. The legality issues were not as quite interesting in the book, at least for me. Overall, a great, easy read.
Enthralling! Bohjalian never writes commonplace stories. It's families in crisis, but with far more interesting challenges than you encounter elsewhere.