Disappointing first novel by a clearly talented writer. While the story's premise (mixed-class marriage, murder-mystery) might have been interesting, the 'aren't I clever' overtones of the forced wit and quirky turns of phrase just rankled too much, so much so that I could never fully sink myself into the meat of the story. I suppose it's 'educational' to read about how the wealthy in Long Island actually live and talk and party (Robin Leach's old TV show did that public service, though), but it also felt a bit like 'you see, this is how we upper-class live' kind of show-and-tell. I felt that most characters lacked some depth and authenticity (unlike, say, Anne Tyler's creations, although some might say I'm comparing apples and oranges there - but fiction is still fiction and needs to be interesting to read). A few other not-so-pleasant notes: lots and lots of adjectives grouped together. Towards the second half, I couldn't bring myself to care about the resolution of the murder mystery, but just forced myself to read to the book's end, for completeness' sake.
Ms. Read is clearly a talented writer with a quick wit, but I think this book is not a shining example of what she's capable of. It's a first novel, and mistakes can be expected with thus, but how it reaped such high praises from other writers, reviewers and readers baffles me. Perhaps her subsequent efforts might be better? (Nope, haven't read anything else of hers since this one.) Usually, a good writer's first published effort just blows you away, but this might perhaps be contrary to that trend, and Ms. Read's sophomore effort will be a better outing than this one. Good, perhaps, for a light summer read.
- Hardcover: 308 pages
- Publisher: Mysterious Pr (8 May 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780892960231
- ISBN-13: 978-0892960231
- ASIN: 089296023X
- Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 2.5 x 23.5 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 431 g
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