Wednesday, February 04, 2015

First Wednesday Book Review Club: CLOSE TO BROKEN-HEARTED, Michael Hiebert


Ever pick up a book left behind by a former occupant at a place you are staying? This is how this one fell into my hands. And although I can't really recommend it whole-heartedly, it kept my attention for the first few days I was here.

The comparison to TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD on the book jacket is a travesty, however. A Southern setting does not a classic make. However, it was a reasonably decent story about a female detective in a Southern town who is also a single mother. The story is told from her point of view as she tries to solve a case and the point of view of her son as he tries to piece together why his mother never speaks about his father. There's a sister too but she gets little attention.

The detective's case involves another single mother and her horrific past.This was an interesting storyline although the author relied way too heavily on a red herring. The second storyline didn't come together until the end and the movations were not all that persuasive. It was hard to believe a woman as reasonable and rational as this detective would deprive her children of any mention of their father or his family.

And yet I finished it despite these caveats. I guess its strength lay in the two main characters who seemed real and richly written.

For more reviews, see Barrie Summy. 


10 comments:

Rose said...

I have read a couple of mysteries lately that I wouldn't recommend too strongly either. Well, actually, I'm giving up on one halfway through--life is too short to waste anymore time on something I really don't like:) But I can put up with a lot if I like the characters. Sounds like this book at least has that going for it.

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

I always like to see what other people are reading and occasionally I do find something that interests me. Now that we have established a "library" in the laundry room of our building there are literally hundreds of books people have donated and I have taken a few to read. I've also donated dozens myself.

Jeff M.

R. T. said...

Patti, I had a similar experience with Mudbound by Hilary Jordan. It was a "leftover" by someone with whom I shared an adjunct teachers' office (i.e., she got fired and left everything behind), and -- in spite of the title, cover, and unfamiliar author -- I gave it a whirl. Well, for me, it turned out to be one of that best books of that year.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I liked MUDBOUND very much. My other friend in Brooklyn also has a laundry room library. Must be a Brooklyn tradition.

I will be scarce for a day or three. Our ceiling collapsed in the kitchen and we can't hook up,until, that is resolved!

R. T. said...

Collapsed ceiling? Yikes! Take it as an omen: more restaurants . . . less cooking.

I hope your crisis is quickly, easily, and inexpensively resolved. Be well. Take care.

Sarah Laurence said...

I've discovered some good books and some disappointing books that way, either renting or visiting a house. That's how I read my first novel by Anita Shreve and then read more. It's always fun to guess someone's character by his/her bookcase. That would be lost if we switched to ebooks.

Barrie said...

We have a coffee shop nearby with used booked you can borrow and return or borrow and replace or whatever. Always interesting to see what's being read in my community. Your ceiling collapsed!!!??? Yikes. How go the edits?

Cloudbuster said...

I, too, am fascinated by the books others leave behind. It sounds from your review like there was a pretty good reason this one was forgotten!

Jennifer A. Jilks said...

I love your comment, looking like your mother.
I'm adopted and they always told me I looked like my (balding) father!!!
Anyway, it's excellent finding a book, isn't it?!

Jennifer A. Jilks said...

I finally read it! Thanks for the review!