Category Archives: Book Review

Review: A Good Marriage

A Good Marriage

A Good Marriage
By Kimberly McCreight
Harper, 9780062367686, May 5, 2020, 400pp.

The Short of It:

A woman is found dead at the bottom of the stairs. Her husband has been arrested for the crime, but everyone is lying.

The Rest of It:

*No Spoilers*

Zach is married to beautiful Amanda but their marriage is riddled with secrets. After dragging Zach to a party that he does not want to attend, Amanda returns home alone and is murdered shortly thereafter.

When Zach finds himself accused of her murder, he contacts an old lawyer friend, Lizzie to defend him even though she’s never defended anyone in a criminal trial. As Lizzie goes through the motions to discover the truth, she slowly realizes that anyone could have killed Amanda and that Amanda’s past was haunting her the entire time.

A Good Marriage is getting a lot of buzz. The author keeps you guessing the entire time. I thought I knew who the killer was numerous times and was wrong every time. Structurally, it’s tightly written and is an absolute a page turner (read it in one sitting) but I did not care about any of these characters, even Amanda. I don’t think you have to love the characters to like a story but in a murder mystery, I find it’s helpful to at least care about the victim. I felt nothing for her. Everything felt a little too detached for me. The relationships were somewhat shallow, or appeared to be which made it difficult to feel anything for these people.

I’ve read McCreight before. You may remember Reconstructing Amelia. That one had a lot of drama but I remember feeling empathy for the characters. That is the only thing I felt was missing here. In the end, I appreciated how quickly the story was told and for the author’s skill at keeping the big reveal a secret right until the end but had I felt a little more for these characters I think I would have enjoyed it even more.

Source: Review copy provided by the publisher.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

Review: Make Your Home Among Strangers

Make Your Home Among Strangers

Make Your Home Among Strangers
By Jennine Capò Crucet
Picador, 9781250094551, July 2016, 416pp.

The Short of It:

A young woman is pulled between her family at home, her studies at school, and the political turmoil over the forcible removal of a young Cuban boy and his return to his father back in Cuba.

The Rest of It:

Many of you may recall the story of Elián González. He was the center of an international custody battle back in 2000. Make Your Home Among Strangers includes a fictionalized account of his story in the form of Ariel Hernandez.

Lizet is the first in her family to attend college but when she announces her acceptance, she is met with disappointment. Her sister just found out she is pregnant and Lizet’s mother was just left by her husband and the house has been sold out from under her. No one in the family is happy about this turn of events but Lizet is curious about a life outside of what she knows and goes, leaving some bad feelings behind.

At school, Lizet struggles. The schooling she’s had prior to college did not prepare her for the rigorous work that is expected of her. Her ties to home and the guilt she has over not helping her sister during this time, cause her to visit home often which confuses her more.

In the midst of all this, Lizet’s mother has joined with others to protest the removal of Ariel Hernandez. He lost his mother leaving Cuba and they feel that since he made it to the US, that he should be allowed to stay but the possibility of his removal looms large as the rest of the story unfolds.

This was a quick, one-two punch of a read. Crucet’s writing is genuine and thoughtful. Lizet is a very believable character. Not perfect, but trying. My discussion group chose this book for next week’s discussion. I had to go back to read up on Elián González because I had forgotten a lot of the particulars. Do you remember his story?

Source: Purchased
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.