Eva of The Paperback Princess
I am interested as to others' reactions to this book.
I found it to be extremely compelling.
I literally read it in one day. I simply could not put it down.
I did not remember this was a mystery...but...bonus! :)
I not only found the mystery compelling, but the characters and their interactions were just as compelling to me as my need to know "whodunnit" if Simon did not commit suicide.
It seemed as if every single character prompted both compassion and sympathy/empathy.
Each character was complex, while still being relatable.
I was reminded of The Aviator's Wife by Melanie Benjamin,
since Charles Lindbergh was also a bigamist.
Actually, he had multiple families around the world.
Quite the "family guy," huh?
Simon was rather similar, though he only had
two "wives" and one mistress. That we know of...
In addition to being wives, both Lottie and Selina
were mothers to teenagers. They both had their
challenges dealing with their children in the wake of Simon's death.
Dealing with my own children became trickier as they aged. As they become adults, you truly have no control and very little opportunity for meaningful input. For the most part you simply sit back and watch unless you intend to alienate them by giving your opinion(s) and/or 'lecturing' them... As Selina discusses what she wishes to say to her daughter Flora regarding her hairstyle:
(1) you can never get away/hang up
(2) you can see each other and that is so "intimate."
I don't Skype but I had never considered those two factors. I'm sure that's true.
Selina: You're saying I stop you being who you are?
Selina: You're wrong!...I give you the stability to go off into the world and be who you are. Stability is the thing--not love.(p. 364)
Selina is very proud of the fact that she and Simon do not feel the need to talk to each other all the time, or even every single day. In describing her best friends' relationship:
Maybe in the end we all settle, just to be left with nothing. (p 280)
Once Selina learns there is a reasonable chance that Simon was actually murdered and did not commit suicide, she feels relieved, thinking
As Selina apologizes to Greg's wife (Simon's partner with whom she has been having sex) she thinks...
All of us sorry. None of us safe. (p 320)
So what exactly is love? And does that lead to other feelings such as commitment that overtake passionate feelings or even hopes and desires? I believe it is different for different people, just as Lottie and Selina obviously provided very different experiences in a marriage for Simon, so do each of us provide "unique-to-us" experiences for our own partners.
This is the next book we will review
on Monday, June 1st!
The Dutch House
My first Ann Patchett!