Tag Archives: General Fiction

Review: Sunburn

Sunburn

Sunburn
By Laura Lippman
William Morrow & Company, 9780062389923, February 2018, 304pp.

The Short of It:

Manipulation & motive will keep you guessing with this one.

The Rest of It:

Sunburn has gotten a lot of buzz and for good reason. It has a cold, rather calculated protagonist. One that you can’t quite figure out which makes this read hard to put down.

Pauline walks away from her husband and child while on vacation. She heads to a small town, finds a job in a small little bar, puts herself up in a modest apartment, reinvents herself as “Polly”,  and then… falls in love.

Why has she walked away from her family? Why has a private investigator been hired to track her? Who is paying for his services? What is Pauline hiding? Plenty.

What makes this a fascinating read is Pauline. She is like a cat. She always lands on her feet no matter what she’s been dealt but she’s not always likable. Guys seem to like her, which she uses to her advantage but women? No. Women do not like her and this is where she finds herself challenged.

I think Lippman spent quite a bit of time developing Pauline’s character. She’s very complex. I found myself not liking her but then I would turn a page and I’d get a glimmer of something similar to like. She is a very strong character and personality and yet there is a vulnerability to her which makes the story plausible.

Sunburn is not a perfect read. There are some stereotypes and moments where you’ll question some of the plot lines,  but all this year I have been reading books that have been pegged as page-turners and this one definitely falls into that category. I guess you could call it a mystery but I didn’t see it as such.

That said, I liked it quite a bit.

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

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Review: The Music Shop

The Music Shop

The Music Shop
By Rachel Joyce
Random House, 9780812996685, January 2018, 320pp.

The Short of It:

If you like sweet, quirky characters and have an appreciation for music, you’ll love this story.

The Rest of It:

Frank owns a music shop and stocks only vinyl, which causes him a great deal of trouble when the vendors refuse to keep him stocked unless he agrees to also carry CDs. But Frank is not just a record seller, he knows exactly what you need to hear and when you need to hear it. His music “prescriptions” have made him a well-loved member of the community but his inability to move with the times threatens to ruin everything he has. One day, a strange, beautiful woman faints right outside his shop and his safe, predictable life is turned upside down.

I really enjoyed The Music Shop. It has a fabulous cast of characters. Do you remember the movie Notting Hill? Well, this story has a very similar group of characters who are really more of a family to Frank that just fellow business owners. They are quirky and lovable and well-meaning. Delightful, really.

As Frank learns more about Ilse, the woman who faints outside his shop, we also learn about Frank’s relationship with his mother and how he came to love music so much. As I was reading this story I compiled a Spotify playlist of all the songs mentioned, only to find out that the publisher already did it for me!

This story is sweet and funny and a real feel-good book. If you enjoyed her other book, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, you will not be disappointed with this one.

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