Tuesday, November 16, 2021


WWW. WEDNESDAY asks three questions to prompt you to speak bookishly. To participate, and to see how other book lovers responded, click here.  

1. What are you currently reading? Fatal Vision by Joe McGinnis. This is a re-read for me, and it suddenly became available at the library so it's my current book. As good a reason to choose the next book as any, I suppose.

Dr. Jeffrey MacDonald was handsome and Princeton-educated. Not only a doctor, but a Green Beret. His family was murdered on horrific night. He was the only survivor, claiming that a drug-addled group broke into his home chanting, "Acid is groovy. Kill the pigs." They bludgeoned and stabbed MacDonald's pregnant wife and two little girls. They left him alive, with scratches and cuts and a collapsed lung.

How strange that the killers left the most physically consequential member of the family with the non-life threatening injuries. The acid must have really messed them up. Or ...

This is the true story of a search for justice. First on behalf of MacDonald's father-in-law, who refused to let the man who took away everything get away with murder. Then on behalf of the State of North Carolina. Finally on behalf of Joe McGinnis, the reporter MacDonald invited to embed with him and his legal team during the trial. That's how confident MacDonald was of acquittal: he wanted a best-selling author on hand to do a book and then split the royalties.

One of the (many) things that makes me sad as I read this is knowing Joe McGinnis died of cancer in 2014, while MacDonald is alive, in prison, and remarried in 2002. (Dr. MacDonald does love the ladies.)

2. What did you recently finish reading? The Nest by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney
"The Nest" is the nickname four adult siblings gave the nest egg left to them by their wealthy father. It had recently contained $2,000,000. Now, suddenly, more than half of it was gone. Their mother had used the funds to help her oldest out of a horrible situation completely of his own making. Naturally, his brother and sisters and upset.

I liked this book because the characters are so individual and so well drawn. Leo, Jack, Bea and Melody may not always be nice people -- who is? -- but they are unique and believable. Significant others and children are three dimensional, as well. I'm tempted to say that their mother, Frances, comes close to being a stereotype (in the birthday party scene, she reminds me of Shirley MacLaine in Postcards from the Edge), but then I realized she was a woman who had four children in rapid succession with a man she was incompatible with everywhere but the bedroom. Maybe that explains why Frances isn't exactly Florence Henderson from The Brady Bunch.

The Nest is a good book and I'm glad I read it.

3. What will you read next? Clammed Up by Barbara Ross. I've always wanted to try the Maine Clambake Series, and now Book #1 is available from the library.