2016 Book #10 – A Small Indiscretion by Jan Ellison

51aKu5z1x8LTitle: A Small Indiscretion
Author: Jan Ellison
Date finished: 2/6/16
Genre: Fiction, women’s fiction, suspense
Publisher: Random House
Publication Date: January 20, 2015
Pages in book: 318
Stand alone or series: Stand alone
Where I got the book from: BookBrowse NOTE: I received this book for free from BookBrowse in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

At nineteen, Annie Black trades a bleak future in a washed-out California town for a London winter of drinking and abandon. Twenty years later, she is a San Francisco lighting designer and happily married mother of three who has put her reckless youth behind her. Then a photo from that distant winter in Europe arrives inexplicably in her mailbox, and an old obsession is awakened.
Past and present collide, Annie’s marriage falters, and her son takes a car ride that ends with his life hanging in the balance. Now Annie must confront her own transgressions and fight for her family by untangling the mysteries of the turbulent winter that drew an invisible map of her future. Gripping, insightful, and lyrical, A Small Indiscretion announces the arrival of a major new voice in literary suspense as it unfolds a story of denial, passion, forgiveness—and the redemptive power of love.

My rating: 3.75 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. Also, this book will count towards my “PopSugar 2016 Checklist” reading challenge, marking off the “a book set in Europe” square as probably about half of the book took place in Europe (London, Paris, Ireland, etc.). This book was sent to me for participation in Book Browse’s Book Talk. I have never participated in an online book discussion before but I am looking forward to it! I think this book will be particularly interesting to discuss due to the moral and ethical questions raised by some of the events in the novel. The discussion group for this book opens on the site on February 9th so if anyone else is interested in joining in on the discussion you are welcome!
Anyways, so this book is about Annie Black. The book starts off in September 2011, when her son Robbie is involved in a significant automobile accident that has left him in a coma. The narrator (Annie) tells the reader at the beginning of the book that her marriage had fallen apart days before her son’s accident. From there, Annie uses the book as a sort of journal/letter where she talks to her son Robbie. As the book unfolds, Annie explains to Robbie how her and his father came to be together, and the events that shaped not only their relationship in the beginning but also her as a person. The story for Annie really began in 1989 (22 years ago) when she leaves her childhood home to travel (first to Maine to confront her father but this is explained later on in the book) to Europe to start over and find her place in the world.
Overall I liked this book. It had a really interesting story line, definitely different from anything I’ve read before. There was a lot of commentary strung into the story on marriage and forgiveness, which I enjoyed a lot. For some reason though the story line just didn’t really grab me. There were some good plot twists but I saw them coming so it took away from the surprise a little for me. And while I wouldn’t say that overall I was thrilled with this story, there were a lot of things that I liked about the book. One of the things was that I found it interesting that even though Annie is extremely flawed, we are still lead to feel sympathy for her as the main character of the book. While I personally had trouble connecting to some of the characters, there were complex layers of wants and needs in each character in the book.

 

The bottom line: I liked this book, it was interesting and had some great toughts included in the story on marriage and forgiveness. I would recommend it for reading.

Link to author website

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

2014 – Book #100

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The hundredth book I read in 2014 was Long Time Coming by Edie Claire. This book was recommended to me by my cousin, Stephanie Gorman. I finished this book on 11/9/14. This was the first book I’ve read by this author. I rated this book 3.5 stars out of a scale of 5. This book tells the story of Joy Hudson, who after 18 years away returns home to Wharton, Kentucky to care for her father and mother, both of which are not in the best of health anymore. Joy left home a long time ago and never looked back, too scarred by traumatic events that occurred at the end of her senior year to think of Wharton as home.

When Joy returns to Wharton though she is forced to face a variety of issues that she had up until then successfully avoided. Like why she feels so guilty about her best friend’s death in high school. And why she’s scared of Jeff Bradford (her best friend’s high school boyfriend) and how he makes her feel, even now eighteen years later.

Overall I did enjoy this book. I was interested in the story line and liked the mixture of paranormal and suspense in the plot. I thought that the characters could’ve been developed a tad bit more and had more depth. As much as we delved into Joy’s psyche I found her character to be a bit flat I guess. Other than that I liked the story well enough. Though I wouldn’t consider it one of my favorites, it was interesting and also free on Amazon Kindle!

Link to author website: http://www.edieclaire.com/

Link to Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Long-Time-Coming-Edie-Claire-ebook/dp/B004RJ7Y8Q/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1415646021&sr=8-1&keywords=long+time+coming