Tag Archives: Pantheon

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 & Tour: The Captive Condition

The Captive Condition

The Captive Condition
By Kevin. P. Keating
Pantheon Books, Hardcover, 9780804169288, July 2015, 288pp.

The Short of It:

Dark and sinister, yet funny and smart.

The Rest of It:

Edmund Campion’s thesis is rejected by Dr. Kingsley so Edmund takes a job as a groundskeeper, working for a guy called The Gonk. Unfortunately, The Gonk is not a good guy and has some secrets of his own.

Dr. Kingsley has secrets too. The woman he’s been having an affair with, Emily Ryan, is found by her two daughters, face down in her own swimming pool. Charlie, unable to raise his daughters on his own, literally abandons them by leaving them with Kingsley and his wife. The girls, however, are more “in the know” than the adults think and they do things to their adult counterparts to keep them on their toes. Oh, these girls are beyond creepy and do their best to make Kingsley afraid of his own shadow. Twins, no less. Reminded me of The Shining a little bit.

This story has a great setting. There’s the highbrow academic side, set against the backdrop of a small Midwestern town. But there’s the other side, the darker side complete with a graveyard and cottage. The promise of something sinister lurks on every page. I enjoyed this part very much.

Kingsley, is an interesting character but the story, I think, is meant to be Edmund’s and he didn’t hold my interest as much as some of the other characters did. The first half was fairly strong, but in the second half, things became a little disjointed. I admit to skimming through a few parts just to get back to Kingsley.

This is a black comedy. Have you read one lately? I think I expected more of a ghost story. There are ghostly elements and graveyards and murders to keep you turning the pages, but it’s peppered with humor which gives it a different feel.

Although the ending did not hold my interest as much as the first half did, I’d absolutely read another novel by this author.

Kevin P. Keating
Kevin P. Keating

For more information on the author, click here.

I had not planned to read this one for R.I.P X but it falls into that genre so I am going to count it towards the challenge.

RIP X

TLC Book ToursSource: Review copy provided by the publisher via TLC Book Tours.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.