Tag Archives: novel

Girls on Trains

imageThe reading of this book went a lot faster than the previous one I ploughed my way through, and when I finished it I gave it four out of five stars.  Then I read some reviews and was surprised to see so many negative ones.  The biggest complaint was its comparison to “Gone Girl” with reviewers saying it either didn’t live up to expectations or that they didn’t like either one since the characters in both  were unlikable dysfunctional idiots.

Well, it was full of those, but I liked it anyway.  The story is told in bits and pieces by three women.  Rachel is an alcoholic who has blackouts and often a less than firm grasp of reality.  She has lost her home, her husband and her job and spends most of her time feeling bad about her situation, telling lies and making excuses and riding on the train.  She wallows and is unable (or unwilling) to change.

Anna (married to Tom, Rachel’s ex) lives in Rachel’s old house with Tom and their new baby.  She is exasperated by Rachel’s inability to let Tom go, her drunken phone calls at all hours and her lurking about, and she fears for the safety of her child.

Megan lives a few doors away with her husband, does not have the idyllic life that Rachel imagines as she observes the couple each day from the train, and has her own set of issues and secrets to deal with. For a short time she helps Anna out when the baby is small.  And gets herself up to even more shenanigans, but we don’t learn about that until later.

When Megan disappears, everyone left is a suspect, including Megan’s therapist who was seen by Rachel (from the train)  kissing Megan on her deck the morning of the day she went missing.

I can’t count how many times I sighed and thought OMG Rachel, what kind of asinine thing are you going to do next?  But hey, it kept me interested and reading right up to the end.  There’s a real art to giving out just enough information to get readers headed in a certain direction and then having them find out some new thing that changes their minds.

I stand by my four stars.  Even if you figure out the mystery well before the end, it’s still an enjoyable journey getting there.

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Words From Somewhere

A long time ago I read this passage in a novel.  Then I read it again.  Have you ever come across someone else’s simple little story and been deeply affected by it or felt so connected to the feelings portrayed that the whole thing could just as easily be your own?

I marked the page these words were on and kept coming back to them. Then I typed the passage and printed it and put it in my keepsakes box.  Every time I come across it I read it again and marvel at how much I like it and then I return it to the box.

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After all this time I don’t know who wrote it or what book it came out of. If you recognize it I will happily share the source.

Funny how a random little snippet from a fictional life seemed like something worth saving, and how it never loses its charm for me.

And that’s my Saturday blurb of randomness for this week!  Hope you’re having a great weekend.

Edited to add- it is from The Pull of the Moon by Elizabeth Berg….thanks oregana

The Weekend

It’s fake flower time again – this is a picture of another card I like that folds out to look 3D.  My sister sent it to me.  It has nothing really to do with anything else I’ve written here, except that now I can put this in the 365 project category and not feel guilty.  Like that ever happens.  Me feeling guilty about my categories.  They’re way beyond random most days anyway.

Since our big schedule change at work that has me working both weekend days, having a Saturday and Sunday off was just one of those rare things that won’t be happening much anymore;  so this past weekend was especially savored.  My daughter went south for two days and I got to enjoy my 11 year old granddaughter and her crazy little dog livening up my empty house.  We went camera shopping on Friday night (grandma, why does he keep showing me PINK ones?), everything else shopping on Saturday, including a couple of hours in Chapters, (did a lot of looking and picked up some great books) and then spent a lovely relaxing Sunday with me reading and Kenzie working on her novel.  This has been in the works at her home in a notebook which she brought with her so she could type it up on my computer.

She has completed a cover page and four chapters.  Printing and revising and reprinting has used up a lot of paper and a lot of ink and a LOT of brain power between her bursts of inspiration and my proof reading and spell checking.  I think she will NEVER forget the difference between your and you’re after grandma having a total freak out about it.  Grandmas should be good for something besides printer ink.

I really want to know how the story ends, but she’s the kind of writer who is keeping that a secret, so far even from herself, and just letting her characters live their lives in an old house where strange things happen.  She is very excited to write up the back cover blurb, and already wondering who she should mention on the dedication page.

Four chapters is way too thick to staple, so the pages are hole punched and tied up with yellow ribbons.  If it never gets beyond this stage, it doesn’t matter.  It’s beautiful just the way it is.  And she’s incredibly proud of it.  And I’m incredibly proud of her.

The dog is another story.  I put a blanket up on the back of the love seat because he CANNOT resist getting up there so that he can look out the window and bark hysterically at anything that moves.  Then he runs down the hallway to the back bedroom if things are moving to the left, and is away to the back door if things are moving to the right. After that he must immediately come leaping back to the window having discovered for the gazillionth time that the back door is closed and the window in the bedroom is covered by a curtain and nothing that he saw outside actually ended up in either one of these two locations where he expected to find them.  OMG, they must still be outside!    Better jump back up on the love seat to see what’s going on out there!  This continues until he drops from exhaustion.  Which is never soon enough to suit me.

I think he would make an interesting addition to her story, even though what motivates him is difficult to pinpoint.  Lack of exercise, maybe.  We should have walked him more.  Perhaps serious authors should not own crazy little dogs.