Mary Beth Latham's life is typical. When not working at her successful landscaping business, her life revolves around her home and family. Her days are spent taxiing her three teenage children around and helping with everything from shopping for prom dresses to choosing a college. Her life, while certainly not perfect, is typical, and in many ways ideal. But after her daughter's ex-boyfriend commits a horrific act of violence against the family, Mary Beth is forced to pick up the pieces and rebuild her life, a life completely unlike her old one.
Sigh. I really don't know what to say about this book and I've been struggling over this review for almost a week. Usually, at the very least, I know how I feel about a book. But this one, I didn't really hate it but I didn't really like it either. It was just kind of.......there. Something to read while waiting for something better to read.
On a positive note, the writing in the book is gorgeous. It flows so smoothly and is almost poetic, without being too flowery. But the story itself is lacking. There was a lot of build up to the violent act that you know is coming and that will change things. But then in a blink of an eye it had happened and we're moving on. And then the story was over. This left me frustrated because I had wanted more details, but I don't think this is a book about details. It's a book about feelings. Blech. More specifically, feeling things and not discussing those feelings with others. Double blech. I hate it when people suppress their feelings to the detriment of themselves and those around them. Eventually, I just stopped caring about the characters in this book.
Let's discuss the author, Anna Quindlen, for a moment. Do any of you like her? I know she's a well known and prolific writer and journalist but I really don't know much about her work. I had been hearing her name for years yet had never read anything by her. Are all of her books like this? I saw this as sort of chick-lit for middle aged women, not really a genre I see myself getting into anytime soon.
So, should you read this book? I don't know. It's not the worst thing I've ever read, and I'm sure there are a lot of women who this book would appeal to. I'm just not one of them. At best, I consider it just a mildly engrossing waste of time.