Similar to Jody Picoult? I beg to differ. While I enjoyed Ms. Moriarty's first book "The Center of Everything", I couldn't even finish this one. The author writes about difficult subject matters - mother/daughter/family relationships and a terrible accident, but I never felt any connection to the characters or the story. I didn't like or care about the mother or the daughter. I was so bored. When I found myself skimming pages, I skipped to the end. This was a very disappointing read.
After reading everyone's review of this book and someone saying they liked it even more than "The Center of Everything" (which I read twice because I enjoyed it so much) I just had to read "The Rest of Her Life." I was very disappointed. First off, everyone said this was a sequel to "The Center of Everything" (which is why I bought it). It's NOT. It is a completely different story. "The Center of Everything" was much better and kept me turning the pages. With "The Rest of Her Life" I kept looking to see how many pages I had to go before I finished it. Not that it was a horrible book but just not very good. I found the plot rather boring and the characters really bland. I especially hated how it ended. It didn't leave me wanting to read a sequal but I think Laura Moriarty could have done a better job tying up the loose ends. It almost seemed like she just wanted to end the story and so she did. No deep meaning behind it, no make you feel good moments, nothing.
This was the first book I read by Laura Moriarty, and I enjoyed it. It was a fast read, focusing on the relationship between mother and daughter (Leigh and Kara) after a tragic accident. I thought the author accurately captured the tensions between the two, as well as artfully telling the story of Leigh's life with her own mother and sister. If you like novels by Jodi Picoult, you'll enjoy this book. It was a fast, fairly engaging read, but not entirely memorable.
I enjoyed this book immensely. It is something that could happen to us all in just one moment of inattention, your life and that of your family and the victim's family are changed forever. A lesson for us all.
I am surprised to see other readers giving this book a low score. I absolutely loved this story and the point of view from which it was told. The tragic story, but something that could happen to any of us in every day life, is not told from the viewpoint of the doer, its told by the mothers point of view. Yes, she is selfish and so concerned about what others think of her, but those too are traits we find in every day life, and she wasn't necessarily the type of character we're supposed to love anyway. I thought this book was excellent and I look forward to reading another of hers.
I picked this specifically because I enjoyed her other book - The Center of Everything - so much. The first one was better. This was good, and the subject matter is good, but I just didn't get into it as much as the other.
I was highly disappointed by this book. I was hoping for some great insight as to the "strained" relationship between mother and daughter but found only a typical teenage girl and the everyday normal battles with her mother. I felt that the mother (Leigh) was extremely selfish and more concerned with "being right" rather than trying to reach out to her daughter (Kara). It was obvious that they loved each other, but it seemed to me like Leigh wanted Kara to do all the work for the relationship since she "had done nothing wrong." In the end, the tragedy was overshadowed by an overbearing selfish mother who only wanted her daughter to do what she wanted her to do and was upset when she didn't. Ultimately, Leigh is disapponted by her relationship with her own mother but learns nothing from any experinece in the book, more worried about "doing things right" as a mother instead of feeling true compassion for her daughter. I felt no love for Leigh's character, making this a very difficult book to enjoy.
Leigh Churchill is the mother of two lovely children - eighteen-year-old Kara - a high-achieving, popular high school senior, destined to go on to college; and Justin - a shy, awkward fourteen-year-old. While she has a wonderful relationship with Justin, for some reason that she can't identify, Leigh's relationship with Kara is strained and difficult. For the life of her, she can't understand what she may have done - or didn't do - that caused such coolness between herself and her daughter.
Then, in a single moment of careless distraction, Kara makes a mistake that ends in tragedy - something that no matter how much she may want to, she can't change or take back. Kara's actions not only divide Leigh's family, but polarize the entire community. We see the story from Leigh's perspective: as she watches her daughter struggling with the feelings of guilt and grief caused by what she has done; as Leigh herself grapples with the harsh reality of what happened and the devastating consequences which Kara's actions have on the family of another teenage girl in town; all while trying to shield and protect Kara in the face of rising public outcry.
The Rest of Her Life: A Novel by Laura Moriarty delivers a luminous, compassionate, and provocative look at how even mothers and daughters with the best intentions can be blind to the harm they do to one another. Ms. Moriarty's novel is one of complex moral dilemma, filled with nuanced characters and a page-turning plot that makes readers ask themselves, "What would I do if I were in a similar situation?"
For myself, I absolutely loved this book. The story was filled with complex characters and intricate family dynamics, just the sort of story that I enjoy reading. I found Ms. Moriarty's writing and plot development to be spot on; very believable and with a strong basis in reality. I give The Rest of Her Life: A Novel by Laura Moriarty an A+! I will certainly be on the look out for more of Laura Moriarty's books to read in the future.
I tried desperately to get into this book. I read a few chapters, but it just never grabbed me. I felt the story line was really slow & rather boring. I couldn't seem to feel anything for any of the characters so I had to just put it down.
How many parents worry each time their kid takes the car out that something awful will happen? This is the story, told from the mother's point-of-view, of the aftermath of just such a tragedy. Powerful reading, painfully real.