Tuesday, March 26, 2019


WWW.WEDNESDAY asks three questions to prompt us to speak bookishly. To participate, and to see how other book lovers responded, click here.
1. What are you currently reading?  Blood Feud by Mike Lupica. Sunny Randall, the blonde Boston PI originally created by the late Robert B. Parker, is back. She has reconciled -- after a fashion -- with her ex-husband, Richie, just in time for Richie to be shot by a mysterious assailant. Before firing, the shooter said, "The sins of the father," so it's easy to assume that Richie was a target because of his family's mob ties.

Too easy. Too neat. What's really going on? Sunny is very motivated to find out. After all, it doesn't get any more personal for Sunny than Richie.

I see on Goodreads that some readers have bitched and moaned because Sunny is "too liberal" and shares her dislike for Trump too freely. Newsflash: It's completely in keeping with the character. In 2016, Clinton got 85% of the vote in Boston. Throughout the series, Sunny has been an outspoken, irreverent, lifelong Bostonian. To borrow a phrase, get over it, snowflakes.

2. What did you recently finish reading?   The Other Side of the Story by Marian Keyes. As I was reading this, I thought of Neapolitan ice cream, because each chapter starred a different "flavor" -- brunette (chocolate) Gemma, blonde (vanilla) Lily and strawberry (redhaired) JoJo. I liked two of these 30-somethings very much. 
Gemma is an event planner whose life is upended when her father leaves her mother for another woman, and Mam is almost incapacitated by the shock and grief. Lily is a shy, wannabe author whose career unexpectedly takes off after she's mugged. JoJo was a member of the NYPD who makes a new life for herself in London. She happened onto publishing, loves it, and is determined to make a success of herself. I won't give away how their lives intersect, but they do. Yes, they have men, but this story centers on the women.

I love Marian Keyes' style. She's warm and witty and there are moments of such complete identification I either smiled or hurt when I read them. The Dublin/London setting charms me, too. (This is the only novel I've ever read with characters named Aoife and Manoj.)

BUT ... The ending seems rushed. After 500 pages of a certain pace, the acceleration of events kinda rattled me. And Lily! We're clearly supposed to like her, she may even be meant to be our favorite. But she's so passive aggressive, so idiosyncratic. I admit that whenever I saw a Lily chapter begin, I toyed with skipping it. I didn't, which is good because they always moved the plot along.

3.  What will you read next?  
Richard Nixon, The Life by John A. Farrell. I began this book months ago. I must return to it.