I didn't set out to compare this book to The Lovely Bones, because the stories are not similar at all. But, I really really really disliked this book. The protagonist Helen is unsympathetic, non-sensical, and never delves any deeper into her mother's problems. In fact, in almost 300 paged, it seems that the author never gets beyond "Mother crazy, Daughter kills her, Father stressed out." I was also insulted by the acknowledgements. The sense that there is an "inner santum" for Ms. Sebold absolutely excludes the reader. I don't expect a thank you for reading her book, but perhaps the end of your second novel is not the best place to suddenly start speaking in code.
I really wanted to love this book. But, the author keeps going overboard with the sentimentality, to the point of nausea. She is waxing rhapsodic all through the book, to the point where you can't love or relate to the characters, because they seem so much more feeling and deep and not-real than yourself.
Reading Toni Morrison's books is not something for the faint of heart. Her literature requires the reader to work for it, to struggle through sometimes uncomfortable prose or through gut-wrenching scenarios within the larger story. But, at the end, you have earned that story...you have achieved something. And, I've found that people either can't stand her books, or they love her books. There isn't any real middle-ground. I am part of the latter group. And especially for this book. I re-read it every year, and it is still new and gripping and passionate and brilliant every time.
I loved this book. And here's why: because the author is posing a question throughout the book, which he makes the reader answer for themselves. The question is, if a man tells a tall tale over a period of time and he believes that tale is how he lived his life, then does the tale become the truth? What is the measure of a man's life: the minute technical events of his daily life, OR how he saw his life as a series of wondrous adventures?
I actually quite enjoyed this book. Kind of if Bram Stoker wrote "The Devil Wears Prada." Very quick read, and while it was not realistic, I don't read vampire novels for their realism anyway! Definitely on the lookout for a second book. 4 Stars.
I cannot stress how much I LOVE MJD's books. I have read every single one, and love each, almost more than the last. And this one is no exception. With the three novellas from three of her best series, it's kind of like a snack to tide you over until the next book comes out. One of the few authors that makes me laugh out loud, repeatedly. Long live Queen Betsy! Bring on the shoes!!
Not quite as good as the second in the series, but still a good book. Elements of the plot feel kind of dragged out, and as always, there is just not enough of Cutter to satisfy me! Does leave me waiting for the 4th book in the series, great job on fleshing out the character of her daughter.