I was all over the place this week. I had started Shelter but then put it down to get to things that were due back sooner. Then I started reading Jane Steele, and while I was liking it, I was weirdly drawn to All Is Not Forgotten, so I bounced back and forth between the two until I just couldn’t put AINF down. Finished it, then finished Jane Steele, then finished Shelter, then started The Mothers this morning. So, here we go:
All Is Not Forgotten has already gotten its own post here. I’m still thinking about this one but I feel it’s mostly a swing and a miss. There’s a good story buried in there somewhere, but ultimately it’s too problematic. Awful narrator, very messy plot; a side plot about another patient was tedious and brought nothing to the story. I still think it could be a decent book club pick even though it’s pretty graphic. The more I’m thinking about it, the less I’m liking it. I often find I can guess how I’ll feel about something based on who gave the blurbs, and I’ve hated something by every single author quoted on the back of this book. Lesson learned.
I had a hard time sticking with Jane Steele. I felt like it was okay enough but it just didn’t grab me as much as I’d expect it to. A big chunk of it was a mystery about a stolen trunk that I thought was uninteresting and hard to follow. I think that was a little bit me because I was just so distracted in general, but it definitely would have benefited from an edit. I give this a lukewarm recommendation.
I was not expecting Shelter to be quite as dark and dreary as it turned out. I thought about giving up about halfway through because it was such a downer and I hated the main character. Very glad I stuck with it though. It picked up quite a bit in the end and I really loved the direction it took. The men in this book have no idea what’s really going on with the women in their lives, and that’s something I’ve certainly observed firsthand in real life. Moving on…
I feel like I need something upbeat after such dark subject matter. I’m really liking The Mothers so far; it’s not especially light but I set the bar pretty low this week. I like the first person plural narration here; I’ve seen it used very effectively and not so effectively, but so far so good. I have a feeling I’ll need something happier after this one. We’ll see!