Wednesday, August 26, 2015

I've been here, sleeping all these years.

The Third WifeThe Third Wife by Lisa Jewell

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

One early April morning, Adrian's young wife, Maya, falls into the path of a bus and dies. Adrian, who saw their life and marriage as perfect, is devastated. To him, Maya was happy, even as she dealt with Adrian's two ex-wives and the five children he shared between them. It's only when Adrian puts up an ad to potentially re-home Maya's cat that he starts to realize that perhaps everything wasn't as perfect for Maya (or himself) as he thought.

So, I think when I requested this book from Netgalley (who gave me a copy in return for an unbiased review), I thought it was a real mystery. My own fault for reading through too quickly. One guy, three wives, one dead. Whatever. It's not a true mystery per se, but a fairly engaging tale of a man trying to figure out his life after the death of his wife. We hear the story from various viewpoints -- not just Adrian's -- and timelines, including hearing from Maya before her death. As such, Jewell lets us slowly piece together what led up to Maya's bus accident.

Overall, this was an interesting read and rather suspenseful at times. It lagged a little in the middle, but picked up at the end. Adrian is a bit of a clueless dope at times, but I enjoyed the passages from Maya. Jewell does a very good job of conveying how a marriage isn't always what it seems - even to the two people actually within the marriage. I thought the ending tied things up a little too easily, but still enjoyed the novel. I will definitely try some of Jewell's other books.  

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I'm just a little hummingbird, I want to sing but I can't find the words.

Those GirlsThose Girls by Chevy Stevens

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Jess, Dani, and Courtney live in a neglected house with their abusive and drunken father. One night, after a particularly bad fight, the girls have to flee town quickly -- only to see things go from bad to worse as their truck breaks down during their journey. Eventually, the story picks up 18 years later (with the girls living under new names), when a turn of events threatens to tear down the lives they've managed to somewhat re-build.

This book was rather bizarre, I have to say. First of all, do not read this if you are triggered by scenes of brutal abuse or rape. Just don't. Terrible things happen in this book. It was almost mind-numbing to read - almost too much.

I'm still not sure how I feel about this one. The sisters drove me a bit crazy. It seemed like one bad decision after another with them. I know they are young when they initially leave home, and abused, but seriously? Then it just seems like the book was a series of misfortunes after another. I feel like Stevens could have limited it at some point. However, it was all oddly compelling, and I found myself reading the whole thing rather compulsively, even if I was constantly disappointed and disheartened by each turn of events.

(Note: I received a copy of this book via Netgalley in return for an unbiased review.)

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