Thursday, April 26, 2012

Book Review Thursday - 4/26

I finished two books last night! When I added the books to my file last night, I noticed that I am not very close to my usual numbers for books read. I have been keeping track of the books I read in a Google spreadsheet since 2009. Here are my numbers for what was read each year by 4/26...

2009 - 12
2010 - 23
2011 - 23
2012 - 14

Whoa! I need to pick it up a little! At least I am doing better than I was in 2009!!

In This Mountain is the 7th book in Jan Karon’s Mitford series and it has been more than 6 weeks since I finished this book. Granma and I listened to it on the drive home from Florida. I was hoping that this book would be more about Father Tim and Cynthia’s time in Whitecap Island, but three years have passed since the end of the previous book, A New Song. Timothy and Cynthia have returned home to Mitford and are preparing for a year-long ministry in Tennessee and there are many emails from the pastor who they will be meeting for the ministry of things to bring and reminders of times and dates. As the date to leave draws closer, Father Tim ignores the tell tale signs of declining health and slips into a diabetic coma while he is driving.

The coma and the accident curtail any plans made for the ministry and Father Tim sends Cynthia off on a book tour so that he can recover without her hovering, but he falls into a depression and quite a bit of the book is spent dealing with his emotions and feelings about the accident, his age, the diabetes and how he fits into the world now that his days of ministering might be behind him.

While the depression and Timothy’s fight to regain an even keel were not joyous to listen to, it was pleasant to have many of the old characters make an appearance in the book to try and help Fr Tim “snap out of it.” And there was progress made on finding Dooley’s missing brothers. And of course, the normal hustle and bustle of the small mountain town was ever present!

Before I started reading this book, I googled the author and found that there are only one or 2 more books in the series after this one. It makes me a little sad to think that the series will come to an end and there will be no more Mitford stories to be read. While this novel may not have been my favorite in the series, it was still a nice addition to the rest of the stories.

One of the books that I finished last night was Laura Lippman’s The Most Dangerous Thing. Gwen, Mickey, Tim, Sean and Gordon (Go-Go) spent several years running around Dickeyville, the small Baltimore suburb where they lived. They explored the large park near their homes and had adventures that would be typical of most kids growing up in the late 1970’s. And then a terrible thing happened that changed their friendship. The group grew apart, grew up  and went their separate ways. And thirty years later, Go-Go drives his car into a wall. His brothers, Tim and Sean, aren’t sure whether it was an accident or suicide, but Go-Go’s death brings the rest of the group back together to face the terrible thing that happened so many years ago.

To me, this book was quite a change from the Tess Monaghan series that I fell in love with over the past year or so and I wasn’t expecting a book that was so dark. For most books, when I listen to the audio version, I can’t wait to turn the book on and see what happens next and I didn’t get that with this novel.

The story jumps back and forth between current day and events in the late 1970’s and a lot of times one chapter ends in current time and the next starts with something from 30 years ago and there isn’t a lot of a segue. Another thing that threw me was that the first third of the book was told from Gwen’s perspective and then all of a sudden we hear from Mickey, Tim, Sean and all of the parents as well. And some of the things that we heard from the parents still seem a little irrelevant now that I am finished with the book. There is also a lot of Gwen trying to convince family and friends that she should leave her husband, but she can’t even say why she wants to leave him until the end and by then, I really couldn’t have cared less whether she left him or not after she whined about it so much.

Surprisingly, I’m not sure that I would recommend this novel to anyone. It just wasn’t a meaningful book to me. Luckily, I have many more books ready for me to listen to. :)

1 comment:

Jean said...

I've always wondered about the Jan Karon books. Will have to check the library to see if they have them on audio