Wednesday, August 9, 2017

CONFESSIONS by Kanae Minto

















5/5          
Reading for JLC 11



Synopsis
Her pupils killed her daughter. Now, she will have her revenge.
After an engagement that ended in tragedy, all Yuko Moriguchi had to live for was her four-year-old child, Manami. Now, after a heartbreaking accident on the grounds of the middle school where she teaches, Yuko has given up and tendered her resignation.
But first, she has one last lecture to deliver. She tells a story that will upend everything her students ever thought they knew about two of their peers, and sets in motion a maniacal plot for revenge.
Narrated in alternating voices, with twists you’ll never see coming, Confessions probes the limits of punishment, despair, and tragic love, culminating in a harrowing confrontation between teacher and student that will place the occupants of an entire school in harm’s way. You’ll never look at a classroom the same way again.


My view

It took me three days to finish CONFESSIONS. Late evening was out of the question, lest I wanted nightmares...a couple of times I set the novel aside to take a deep breath or try to guess an ending...oh! I wasn't even close.

At 240 pages the novel encompasses a talent reminding me of Hitchcock's best.

Anyone who enjoys psychologically driven crime novels, CONFESSIONS will not disappoint.

Highly recommended 


Saturday, July 22, 2017

COMMONWEALTH by Ann Patchett
















5/5

Bloomsbury
Published May 2017
Personal copy
American Literature

Description
A powerful story of two families brought together by beauty and torn apart by tragedy, the new novel by the Orange Prize-winning author of Bel Canto and State of Wonder is her most astonishing yet
It is 1964: Bert Cousins, the deputy district attorney, shows up at Franny Keating’s christening party uninvited, bottle of gin in hand. As the cops of Los Angeles drink, talk and dance into the June afternoon, he notices a heart-stoppingly beautiful woman. When Bert kisses Beverly Keating, his host’s wife, the new baby pressed between them, he sets in motion the joining of two families whose shared fate will be defined on a day seven years later.
In 1988, Franny Keating, now twenty-four, has dropped out of law school and is working as a cocktail waitress in Chicago. When she meets one of her idols, the famous author Leon Posen, and tells him about her family, she unwittingly relinquishes control over their story. Franny never dreams that the consequences of this encounter will extend beyond her own life into those of her scattered siblings and parents.
Told with equal measures of humour and heartbreak, Commonwealth is a powerful and tender tale of family, betrayal and the far-reaching bonds of love and responsibility. A meditation on inspiration, interpretation and the ownership of stories, it is Ann Patchett’s most astonishing work to date.

Highly recommend this novel, just beautiful! Thank you Ann Patchett for another wonderful experience.

Other novel by Ann Patchett: BEL CANTO

I read all her novels, she is among my favorite writers.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

SISTERS by Lily Tuck


















2/5
Grove Atlantic
Literary Fiction
Publishing Date 5 September, 2017
American Literature

Description
In her singular new novel Sisters, Tuck gives a very different portrait of marital life, exposing the intricacies and scandals of a new marriage sprung from betrayal.
Tuck’s unnamed narrator lives with her new husband, his two teenagers, and the unbanishable presence of his first wife—known only as she. Obsessed with her, our narrator moves through her days presided over by the all-too-real ghost of the first marriage, fantasizing about how the first wife lives her life. Will the narrator ever equal she intellectually, or ever forget the betrayal that lies between them? And what of the secrets between her husband and she, from which the narrator is excluded? The daring and precise build up to an eerily wonderful denouement is a triumph of subtlety and surprise.
With Sisters, Lily Tuck delivers riveting psychological portrait of marriage, infidelity, and obsession; charting with elegance and insight love in all its phases.

My view
I read this " novella " in one sitting. It felt as if the author was taking notes, preparing for a novel. The characters are one dimensional, we never get to know them fully. Long annotations fill the pages, little corresponds to the story line.
The end reads like a comedy punch line, the only paragraph I found of interest.
I could not recommend this novella.

Thank you NetGalley and Grove Atlantic for this arc.