As I sit with my cup of regular tea and a delicious Date Bar on this Friday afternoon of the Civic long weekend, I’m getting a head start by blogging, as we are going to be away for a couple of days and I wanted to make sure not to miss writing my weekly post.
I started reading a book last week by Nicci French (actually a husband-and-wife writing team), the latest (and last!) in the series of books featuring psychologist Frieda Klein, Day of the Dead. It was interesting and well written, and grabbed me right away. I got about a third of the way through it when I realized that, since I will be away for a couple of days, I needed to set it aside to start my book for next week’s book club meeting if I hope to have it finished on time. We’re discussing Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, so no light, easy summer reading for me this week! I’m having trouble getting into it, but I’m hoping to devote quite a bit of time this afternoon to tea-drinking and reading and make some good headway.
But I finished listening to an audiobook this week that I want to tell you about. It is a standalone by Laura Lippman called I’d Know You Anywhere, and it was great! Lippman is the author of the “Tess Monaghan” series, but I’ve never really gotten into those. I have, though, read other standalones by her and have usually been, if not always impressed, then at least kept interested to the end. This one was no exception. When she was fifteen years old, Elizabeth Lerner was abducted by Walter, a young man who had been abducting and killing teens in his area for some time. Held captive for nearly six weeks, travelling around Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland, she is, for some reason, kept alive while Walter tries to figure out what to do next, where to go, and how to get his life in order. We know she survives, as she is telling the story, but we don't know the details. Fast-forward 22 years, and Elizabeth has become Eliza Benedict, mother to Albie and Iso, recently moved back to the States after years living in England because of her husband’s job. And she’s really trying to fit into her new life, new neighbourhood, and bright future. Unfortunately, with Walter on Death Row awaiting execution. her past is about to intrude on her measured life and bring her back to those days, and she will have to learn to face up to her past before she can move on with her future. This is a novel about the decisions we make and the ways we learn to deal with their outcomes. It is about responsibility and blame, and how one act can forever touch not just one life, but the lives of those around us. I’ve read other books by this author, and I have to say that this one struck me as having the most insight into characters that make up the story, while still managing to stay in the genre of psychological suspense. The narrator, Linda Emond, also did a great job of capturing the characters and the general mood of the novel. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys psychological suspense or domestic fiction, or even “women’s fiction”, as much of the book is about Eliza/Elizabeth coming to terms with her past and realizing the ways in which that has influenced her present, as well as influencing the direction of her future. One line in the book pretty well sums up the message in this novel, and it goes something like this: “even doing nothing is a choice.”
That’s all for today. Have a great long weekend, and don’t forget to make time to read!Bye for now…