Tag Archives: Fiction

Review: Ocean State

Ocean State

Ocean State
By Stewart O’Nan
Grove Press, 9780802159274, March 15, 2022, 240pp.

The Short of It:

Only O’Nan could write a story where the murderer’s identity is revealed in the first paragraph and he still manages to hold my interest.

The Rest of It:

This is a simple story, really. Two young girls, in love with the same boy. The push-pull tension of the story is laid out slowly in its less than 250 pages. Angel knows that her boyfriend has been seeing another girl, Birdy, but in her mind, there is no other outcome possible. She will be with him and Birdy won’t be. How she gets to that decision is how the story plays out.

Angel’s younger sister Marie, reflects on that autumn where it all went wrong. There’s plenty of familial tension but it’s all a little gritty and unsavory and I had a hard time liking any of the characters. I felt empathy for Marie, having to deal with the aftermath of Angel’s actions and her losing the only person she was really close to. But if you are a fan of O’Nan’s, what you might miss in this story is the sense of place that he so elegantly builds in his other books. Other than that, I enjoyed Marie’s reflections on sisters, mothers, and life in general.

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

Review: Greenwich Park

Greenwich Park

Greenwich Park
By Katherine Faulkner
Gallery Books, 9781982150310, January 25, 2022, 384pp.

The Short of It:

If you are into page-turners, Greenwich Park should be your next read.

The Rest of It:

Helen and Daniel are expecting a baby. They live in a beautiful house that Helen’s family left to her. Every day Helen realizes how lucky they are to live in such a beautiful home and after several  miscarriages, she is finally looking forward to having a baby boy. Plus, she’s lucky to have her brother Rory and his wife Serena, also pregnant, living close by.

One day, at a pre-natal class she meets another young mother by the name of Rachel. Rachel is a little bit odd. Kind of loud and brash. The father of Rachel’s child isn’t in the picture so when Rachel attempts to make friends with Helen, she reluctantly gives in, feeling a little sorry for the girl. Lunch here and there. Tea. It isn’t such a horrible ask until Rachel shows up with bruises around her neck and asks to live with Helen and Daniel.

Daniel is immediately put off by the request but Helen, fearing for the girl’s safety, allows her to stay for a day or two. What is this girl’s story? Who is hurting her? What does she do in her free time? She has plenty of money but doesn’t appear to have any kind of job.

As Helen’s due date approaches, the mystery ramps up and the tension runs high as Helen tries to figure out a way to get rid of Rachel without hurting the girl’s feelings.

What Helen doesn’t realize is that none of this is accidental.

Oh, I love a book that gives you a reason to forgot all household duties. Dinner? Nah. I gotta get back to my book. Laundry? Only if I can read in-between loads. I RACED through this one. Actually, I tried to read it a long time ago and put it down for something but when I picked it up again this past week I flew through it. I highly recommend it.

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