Monthly Archives: May 2015

The Good Girl…. so many reactions!

i've been following her

The Good Girl by Mary Kubica is a thrilling mystery about a Mia, a young woman abducted by a man, Collin Thatcher, that she meets at a bar one night after getting stood up for the millionth time by her lame on-and-off boyfriend.

I read the entire book in one day — it was impossible to put down!

It is told through the different perspectives of Eve (her mother), Gary (the detective), and Collin (the abductor)… there’s also the epilogue narrated by Mia (it left me speechless). They vary in timing: some are from the “Before”-point of view, others the “After”… and the ever-so-important Christmas Eve.

Collin’s point of view grabbed me the most–

He starts off with:

“I’ve been following her for the past few days. I know where she buys her groceries, where she has her dry cleaning done, where she works. I don’t know the color of her eyes or what they look like when she’s scared. But I will.”

That idea just sends chills down my spine. Yet, there is so much more to Collin than meets the eye. As we read more about him, as the kidnapping goes on for far too long, we inevitably get to know him (as does Mia).

He says, “I know the feel of dismissive eyes, eyes that look without really seeing a thing. I know the sound of contempt in a voice. I know how betrayal and disillusionment feel, when someone who could give you the world refuses even a tiny piece of it.”

He is broken… and there are good reasons for it. But does that excuse his life of crime? Does that make him a victim of circumstance? Or can we still hate him for being a kidnapper… despite the good intentions?

He continues, “I turn and look at her. I say nothing. Neither of us is sure if it’s a question or not. What I know is that I feel something change inside me every time she looks at me. Her eyes no longer look through me. Now, when she talks, she looks at me. The anger and hate are gone.”

Stockholm syndrome, anyone? I’m not sure… there are just so many layers to these characters.

As they plan their get-away, he engraves a message on the table, “We Were Here, I think, but it’s someone else who leaves.”

For a long time, I couldn’t decide who was the most hateable character: Collin (for the obvious reasons) or Mia’s father, Judge James Dennett — who is (from the second he is introduced) a complete and self-absorbed jerk! He won’t even report Mia as missing because he’s sure she’s just having great time somewhere, being irresponsible, and hoping to cause a scene. He is demeaning and controlling with his wife. He is condescending to Detective Hoffman. He has absolutely no redeeming qualities.

It’s interesting to see just how much Mia and Collin have in common… what they can discover about each after being stuck in the same small log cabin in the isolated and increasingly freezing woods for weeks.

This is such a thoughtfully woven mystery — the alternating points of the view, the shift in time, the present-tense narrative… it’s all purposeful and helps drive the story forward until the climactic end.

It’s the kind of story you just don’t put down.

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I’m in the Nerdy Book Club!!

read anywayIt’s very exciting for me to have my literary musings in the Nerdy Book Club! If you’re feeling in the mood, do check it out: Make a Little Time to Read.

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Spring-Time Reading

spring time reads

This spring has brought with it a new batch of reading material — and they are all quite different (sort of):

War Bonds– Love Stories of the Greatest Generation by Cindy Hval is a collection of beautiful and loving memories of couples who met during World War II. She recounts how these men and women met and stayed together for decades despite many obstacles. Who doesn’t love a good story? Well, what about 36 of them?

“Everything’s built on friendship. He’s been my best friend for 77 years.” – Betty Schott

The Heroes’ Welcome by Lauisa Young is about a group of friends returning from the first World War — (I guess I was on a bit of a thematic reading kick after all). As with any war, they are battered and broken, both inside and out. For some, their scars are worn on their face, for others, the traumatic memories of watching friends die has left lasting, yet unseen, wounds deep within their souls.

And lastly, The Dragon of Handale by Cassandra Clark is a mystery about a former nun who goes to spend some quiet time at the Handale Priory while she thinks deeply about whether or not she wants to resume her service. However, quiet time is not what she finds! There are all kinds of shenanigans going on deep within the cold, dark woods… including gruesome murders, poisonings, abductions, and disturbing punishments inflicted upon the sinning nuns.

My reviews should be in the San Francisco Book Review in the month of June. Until then: happy reading!

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Filed under Book Review, Historical Fiction, Memoirs, Mystery