Thursday, May 25, 2017

Since We Fell

by Dennis Lehane

"Rachel Childs is a former journalist who, after an on-air mental breakdown, now lives as a virtual shut-in. In all other respects, however, she enjoys an ideal life with an ideal husband. Until a chance encounter on a rainy afternoon causes that ideal life to fray. As does Rachel’s marriage. As does Rachel herself. Sucked into a conspiracy thick with deception, violence, and possibly madness, Rachel must find the strength within herself to conquer unimaginable fears and mind-altering truths."

*****

This is another one of my Book of the Month choices, and I'm not sorry that I chose it, but I didn't fall in love with this book either. I thought that I was going to -- went so far as to Snapchat my friend: "I just started this one but it's great so far!" -- only to find that it eventually fell a little bit short for me. Read and learn, I guess.  

The prelude to the book is exciting -- the reader knows immediately that there is going to be a large build-up of wild events to wrap the story back around to the novel's entrance. Upon reading this, I thought that, despite the large size of the book, I'd be through it fairly quickly.

While it didn't take me long to read, I didn't finish it as quickly as I thought I would. I came out of the gate at full speed, but I began losing interest along the way. Rachel Childs is a well-developed character. The reader learns much about her childhood, her family, and the events that brought her to her current day. The defining elements of her personality are set early, and remain true throughout the duration of the novel. With this being said, I never grew to care much about Rachel. She was... fine. As a protagonist, she was... fine. As the novel twisted and turned, I often found myself thinking "Oh please, I don't think she would have figured that out, like that, or so quickly." Still, she (mostly) kept me engaged.

A multitude of events occurred throughout the novel. As I neared the end, I vaguely remembered that it had been a completely different book at the beginning. This may have been by Lehane's intentional design -- so much happens in a whirlwind fashion throughout the novel, and it's possible the reader is supposed to feel that the beginning of the novel was a lifetime ago. Rachel certainly felt this way.

Too, Lehane used many of his early chapters to focus on people. Rachel aside, he developed many other characters, who didn't last much past the beginning of the book. Still, while these peripheral characters served to advance the plot, I didn't care to spend so much time reading about people who were later deemed fairly inconsequential.

I found the plot exciting, though sometimes the pieces of this puzzle fell together a little too readily. Also, this novel is set in Boston, and I liked that I could picture all of the streets, addresses, and parts of the city mentioned throughout the story.

This book was described as a "literary thriller," and I didn't personally find it to hold true to its "literary" title -- but it wasn't just a fluff novel either. I'd recommend this book if you are looking for a psychological thriller that requires a bit more mental energy and involvement than a James Patterson novel.

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟⋆ (3.5, if you were confused).

Up next and coming soon: The Leavers

4 comments:

  1. Meg here! Once again, you and I feel the same way! 230 pages of set up (I counted) in a 400 page book. WTF!! It was fine. Didn't love it. Didn't hate it. Not worth reading again. I enjoyed the other three I got this month more. (2 accounts 😏) If you got the Paula Hawkins, I did not like that. I also picked up Lillian Boxfish from the backlist, which has been my only 5⭐️ book this month. So glad you're back to blogging!

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    1. Meg! I'm not shocked we feel the same way -- we always did -- but I'm still glad to hear it! That's exactly how I felt -- it didn't love it; didn't hate it. I've heard great things about Lillian Boxfish! Maybe I'll get that with my next box. I did get the Paula Hawkins, but I didn't read it yet. I'll let you know what I think when I finish it!

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  2. I just finished - I enjoyed the end "thriller" part the most. I agree about the build up being lengthy, developing characters that didn't even exist at the end of the book. I think I would have liked having Caleb introduced and developed a little earlier. I read the Paula Hawkins one and mostly liked it but found it easy to put down - that probably means something...

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    1. Agree! It wasn't a bad book, it just wasn't my favorite - and I would have liked learning more about Caleb in the beginning too.

      Re: Paula Hawkins - good to know! I haven't read it yet but I'm super curious -- I'm hearing such mixed things about it.

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