Valley of Ashes Lib/E: 4 Audio CD – Unabridged, 14 August 2012
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- Publisher : Hachette Book Group; Unabridged edition (14 August 2012)
- Language : English
- Audio CD : 9 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1619691299
- ISBN-13 : 978-1619691292
- Customer Reviews:
A funny and sad novel about a woman trying to establish an identity for herself...The tone is reminiscent of Janet Evanovich's novels...A fast-paced, well-written book.-- "Kirkus Reviews"
Fire-both literal and figurative-threatens to consume everything in Madeline Dare's life in Read's wrenching fourth suspense novel...There's an inevitable sense of doom throughout, which Read doles out in perfectly proportioned doses.-- "Publishers Weekly"
Read's dialog and character and scene descriptions are compelling, and the narrative is touching, humorous, and moves at a satisfying and suspenseful pace. Fans of Read's series and readers fond of Karin Slaughter, Gillian Flynn, and Nicci French will enjoy this latest outing.-- "Library Journal"
The sharpest humor comes with a pinch of suffering, and Madeline Dare suffers big time in Cornelia Read's new mystery about this fugitive socialite from Oyster Bay, Long Island...Madeline is funny when she's depressed ('I'm fat, my marriage is tanking, and I want to run away with the circus'), but the only person who appreciates her bleak humor is a friend with domestic issues of her own ('I just want to be a widow. Is that so wrong?').-- "New York Times"
With remarkable originality, she scores again in a novel that transcends genre and leaves the reader spellbound.-- "Richmond Times-Dispatch"
About the Author
Cornelia Read is the author of Valley of Ashes, Invisible Boy, and The Crazy School. Read's first novel, A Field of Darkness, was nominated for an Edgar Award for Best First Novel. She lives in Berkeley, California.
Hillary Huber is one of the most successful voice talents in Los Angeles. Recent books read for Blackstone Audio include Him, Her, Him Again, the End of Him by Patricia Marx, A Field of Darkness by Cornelia Read, and A Map of Glass by Jane Urquhart.
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Novel" should be removed from the front cover. This was Cornelia Read's personal non-fiction story about an event SPOILER ALERTwith a very sad sad ending.
I read novels for enjoyment, so I select those with happy or satisfactory endings. If I wanted to read about the devastation of diagnosis of autism in my baby I'd have read something else.
"Ashes," like Read's prior 3 novels, features Madeline Dare and her husband Dean. Madeline and Dean are struggling through a young adulthood where jobs are very scarce. In "Ashes," they have moved from upstate New York to Colorado, where Dean has found a good job and Madeline is living the life of a stay-at-home mom with 1 year old twins.
If I were thinking of having children, this book would cure me of the idea within 20 pages. Read conveys a sense of imprisonment so immediate and intense that I WAS Madeline, and I wanted to run screaming fromher house and hop the first plane to anywhere else. Along with the claustrophobia of young motherhood, Madeline experiences a radical change in Dean, who, now that he has a job he can be proud of, has become arrogant and overbearing, telling Madeline she should clean up the house and be content to be a "homemaker." Madeline's life is the modern woman's nightmare (at least it's mine, and hers).
Looking at Ms. Read's web page, I see that a lot of what she writes is semi-autobiographical. That may explain why her books tend to be underwhelming in terms of plot. Though purportedly a mystery, "Ashes" has a mystery so irrelevant that the solution is an afterthought. The mystery is a mere McGuffin-- Madeline is the reason to read this book.
Accordingly, read it if you read, and liked, Read's other novels; if you are looking for a conventional mystery, you will be disappointed.