Published by: Random House
Publication Date: July 5, 2011
Review Copy from: Sparkpoint Studio LLC
My Rating: 2
Synopsis: In 1957, Jane Weld was eleven years old when her father Luce, a petty thief, disappeared. His skiff was found drifting near the marsh, empty except for his hunting coat and a box of shot-gun shells. No one in his small New England town knew for sure what happened until, three years later, his skull rolled out of a gravel bank by the river, a bullet hole in the temple. There were rumors he had been murdered by the jealous husband of his mistress, Ada Varick. Now, half a century later, Jane is still searching for the truth of her father’s death, a mystery made more urgent by the unexpected romance that her willful daughter, Marne, has struck up with one of Ada’s sons. As their love affair intensifies, Jane and Ada meet for a casual Friday board game that soon transforms into a cat-and-mouse game of words long left unspoken, dark secrets best left untold.
My Thoughts and Opinion: A murder in a small town in 1957 that was never solved until 2004. Two families connected and affected, due to this murder, and the effects of infidelity that was always thought was the reason behind the murder. But who did it? Two damaged families, for generations, connected through friendship and romantic interests, and bound together by lies, betrayal, mistrust, protection and the search of the truth.
For me, this is one of the hardest reviews I have had to write because of the following. After reading the synopsis, I started reading this book with a preconceived notion, expectation and presumption of what the premise was. I was wrong and because of my assumption, I was disappointed with the outcome. After I finished reading this book, I did read others’ reviews, which the majority were 4 and 5 star ratings, to see if I was in the majority or minority of my rating. I was in the minority. I feel that it is not fair to the author and/or the book, because of my inference, that you make a decision to read and/or not read this book because of my opinion/review. However, since I do post a review of every book I read, I will share my thoughts.
It was very hard for me to relate to the characters. I thought that one character, Marne, granddaughter of the murder victim was not developed. It was conveyed that she had “come home” but I was unsure as to why. Plus she had a “chip on her shoulder” attitude and a very troubling relationship with her mother, Jane, daughter of the murder victim, Luce, but the reason for this was not explained. Another issue I had trouble believing was the friendship between Jane and her Scrabble opponent, Ada, who was her father’s mistress and the person who broke up Jane’s parents’ marriage, which Jane had never truly accepted. One of my assumptions was that the words formed during these weekly Scrabble games produced would be hints as to who the murderer was. The author did describe each game, the words created and how many points the player achieved. However, I didn’t feel that the words played had anything to do with the long ago murder of Jane’s father but it was the conversations the 2 woman had during their weekly scheduled games. The book held my attention and was a fast read but I think it was due to the fact of trying to figure out who the killer was. I didn’t feel that is was a page turning suspense but a page turner to just find out the truth. I want to stress that this is my opinion, and my opinion only. Not every book is for every reader. And according to the reviews, a lot of people disagree with me. Nonetheless, this is my personal viewpoint of this book.