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Reader's Digest Select Editions
Reader's Digest Select Editions
Author: K. Robards, S. Khashoggi, L. Child, N. Lindsay
ISBN: 10145
Edition: Abridged
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Book Type: Paperback
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Since I read so much, I found this Reader's Digest Select Edition of 4 abridged books a delight to read. I enjoyed all 4 of the books.

"Bait" by Karen Robards involves a serial killer but it's tone is light for a book of this type. The budding relationship between the FBI agent and the advertising executive, who offers herself as "bait", is fun to read.

"Mosaid" by Soheir Khashoggi is a modern thriller about an estranged marriage and the husband's (Karim) decision to take his set of twins, Suzy and Ali, back to Jordan to live with his extended family. Karim has become completely disenchanged with American life, causing a rift between his American wife, Dina, and himself. Dina becomes frantic when she realizes what Karim has done and tries to hire an ex-CIA agent who specializes in retrieving adults and children from Arab countries. When he finds out that Karim's family has strong ties with Jordan's royal family, he refuses to take on the case. The second man she hires decides to go to Jordan, accompanied by Dina. Karim lets Dina visit the twins. But the kidnap attempt becomes impossible; the twins are always around a relative and there are guards always discreetly watching the children. Dina returns to America heartbroken. But the rest of the story takes on a surprising series of turns and was not what I expected though I like the ending. What stood out in this book for me was the cultural clash between the Arabic world and the U.S. world. I liked the fact that the family lived communally since the U.S. is so into extreme individualism. A balance would be nice. The characters were complex, especially Karim. He is not written as a character who sees everything as either black or white and he is essentially a kind man. There seems to be an imbalance in their relationship as it concerns flexibility. Dina is all for American values, culture, etc. and while Karim can accept some of it, he finds he no longer can subject himself and his children to what he perceives as decadent and harmful. I can't recall a time when Dina tried to see some of what he saw in an openminded way.

"One Shot" by Lee Child. This is a mystery/thriller featuring former military cop Jack Reacher. When an ex-army sniper cold-bloodedly guns down 5 people in daylight there are many witnesses; he's quickly arrested, he calls upon Jack Reacher for help. Reacher isn't easy to get. He travels around the country with just one set of clothes and essential toiletries. When the ones he has on get dirty, he throws them away and buys another daily set of clothes from a thrift shop. As Reacher goes about solving the mystery of the sniper's apparent innocence, he encounters many dangerous characters who have a vested interest in seeing to it that the jailed man stay there. Reacher works methodically and intuitively which makes him an interesting character to read about. The plot of this book is somewhat complex but the very "simpleness" of Reacher's search for the truth makes this a good mystery/thriller.

"Diving Through Clouds" by Nicole Lindsay. This was one of my favorite books. It's both charming and humorous. When Kate Fitzgerald dies, she finds herself in a place that's kind of like a limbo. Her life consisted of a loveless marriage and a daughter who disappeared 8 years ago. Kate decides to make it right with her daughter Celia and locates her living on some island, single with a young son, Matt. The boy is able to see and talk with Kate. With him she's able to have the sort of fun she never had with her daughter. Abandoned by the father of Matt, Celia has become destitute and Kate finds a way for her to learn of Kate's death and Celia's subsequent inheritance. When Celia goes home to England, her heart starts healing towards her parents, especially towards her mother. As Kate sees the change in Celia and sees her well settled in their house as well as married to a wonderful man, she is able to move on, out of "limbo", towards the love and peace waiting for her.