Book Reviews with Beth

January 27, 2007

Anyone who knows me at all knows that I have a voracious love for reading. And I love to find unexpected books, ones I would never pick up without a recommendation or a book club encouraging me to discover something new.

To-wit: I don’t usually read “thrillers,” usually out of a concern that they’ll be too gritty, too violent. Plus, I can often see through at least three steps ahead in a typical thriller (“Yeah, we know she’s not going to end up being his sister, but his daughter.” or “Obviously, he changed identities and used to be Bill.”), and I don’t find such precognition all that thrilling. It’s not that I’m all that smart, but I sometimes seem to have a sense of what’s coming next in a book. So when I find a good thriller, one that keeps me reading into the wee hours of the morning, one where I’m tempted to utter, “Sh__! I didn’t see that coming, one that makes me gasp in the final pages — I feel like I should recommend it.

I had never read anything by Harlan Coben (and I do somewhat wonder what motivates a person to name his/her child “Harlan,” but anyway). Just finished Gone for Good (upon the recommendation of Tim’s co-worker) this morning. And wow. A good, escapist, yes thrilling read. Lots of fun if you can spare a couple of hours from your day (or night, as the case may be). Briefly, Coben tells the story of a man whose brother was accused, he believes falsely, of a grisly murder of a neighborhood girl several years before. The brother has been on the run and has been believed to be dead. But…well, I’ll let you read the rest.

And the other book…anyone ever seen the children’s book by Robert Munsch, Love You Forever? It chronicles the story between a mother and son. Oddly enough, the mother always appears to be crawling around the hall outside her son’s bedroom sneaking these loving (?) peeks at him. Okay, first off, anyone who has kids knows that while gazing on the adorable visages of our sleeping children produces great joy and thankfulness, you sure as heck try to avoid waking up said children once they’re sleeping. And I question if all of this skittering around on the floor might not be a tad distracting to our kids. I picture Rob’s startled eyes as I peer up at him: “Mom, what are you DOING?” The book reaches a pinnacle of creepiness when the elderly mother actually climbs up a ladder into her adult son’s bedroom, so she can hold him in her lap. Co-dependent anyone? And is it really good for this woman to be quite this physically active, in the dark no less? I realize that I’m treading upon sacred ground here, because I’ve had people talk to me about this book in strange hushed tones like it’s something sacrosanct and untouchable. Like somehow if I’m not belly crawling across the floor of Abby’s room to sneak a glance at her, I must not truly love her forever. But, really, think about it for a moment — all of you who love your mothers dearly and whose mothers love you — do you really want to awaken to this wonderful woman who gave you life on the floor of your bedroom? Don’t you think that you might begin to question her sanity just a wee bit? Of course, the son in the book never wakes up as his mother cradles him. I don’t know — maybe she drugged him earlier in the evening with the batter of her famous fried chicken.

That’s all for now!


2 Responses to “Book Reviews with Beth”

  1. Erica said

    I have EVER hated that book, HATE! I refuse to allow copies of it to live in my home or classroom and I will not read it. ick!

    Admittedly, my original reason for hating it was because it made me cry when I read it, and I cried because I missed my Mommy and I could have benefitted much from a good snuggle with her at that time in my life when I had banished myself to Louisiana, far, far away from her. But I totally agree with you. There is something just … not … right about that book.

  2. kjames said

    Love You Forever: that book creeps me out.

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