Tag Archives: Fiction

Review: A House Among The Trees

A House Among The Trees

A House Among The Trees
By Julia Glass
Pantheon Books, Hardcover, 9781101870365, June 13, 2017, 368pp.

The Short of It:

Strong story potential that fell flat for me.

The Rest of It:

From Indiebound:

When the revered children’s book author Mort Lear dies accidentally at his Connecticut home, he leaves his property and all its contents to his trusted assistant, Tomasina Daulair, who is moved by his generosity but dismayed by the complicated and defiant directives in his will.

This book is said to be a tribute to Maurice Sendak, the beloved illustrator and author of children’s books and the inspiration behind the main character for A House Among the Trees.  When I read that blurb, I just had to read it.

Morty Lear falls from his roof to his death and leaves his estate to Tommy, his long-time live-in assistant. Much of the story centers around the visit of a well-known actor who has been cast to play Morty in a film and how Tommy has to deal with that and all the other things required of her.

Normally, this type of story intrigues me but this time I felt no connection whatsoever to the characters. I can’t even say why. I could not connect or relate to any of them and there seemed to be a lot of back and forth where things didn’t flow well. Perhaps that is more of an editing issue. Not sure, but in the end this one didn’t work for me at all and I really wanted to love it.

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

Review: Small Hours

Small Hours

Small Hours
By Jennifer Kitses
Grand Central Publishing, Hardcover, 9781455598526, June 13, 2017, 288pp.

The Short of It:

Told in one single day, this story is both well written and heartfelt. What happens to a couple when secrets begin to take over their lives?

The Rest of It:

After moving to what Helen believes to be the ideal neighborhood, Tom and Helen raise their daughters and slowly realize that the everyday struggles of work and raising children have created a slight rift between the two of them. The neighborhood is not what it seems to be and Tom’s relationship with another woman, one that results in another daughter almost the same age as the two he has, forces him to keep the secret long after he intends to.

What an interesting story. It’s told hour-by-hour and all in one day so what we see as a reader is the breaking point, really. The point where Helen and Tom have to come to grips with their reality and it’s not pretty but it’s very honest and very real. As readers we get to share in their regret and their fears. I really enjoyed the writing and the deep looks into each of the main characters. There are no “bad guys” here. Each character is trying his or her best to be the best person they can be. It’s a struggle but not impossible.

Lovely. Small Hours is lovely read with deeply flawed characters and a story that’s told in a quiet but direct way. I recommend it.

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