Saturday, January 21, 2012
The Year She Fell by Alicia Rasley......
I read this book on my iPad after downloading it for **FREE** on the Kindle. (I like the way the pages look on the screen on the iPad better than the Kindle.)
I didn't have high expectations for the book because it was free. Does that make me a snob? Or just stupid? I'm not sure what attracted me to the book, except its freeness. Maybe it's the subtitle, barely readable at the bottom of the cover: "Every family has secrets."
This is another of those books in which the story is always told in first person, but the narrator switches characters every few chapters. The first time that happened I thought, "Oh no, here we go again..." but I was so far into the book that I didn't want to abandon it.
One thing that stood out to me in this book was the quality of interpersonal relations and conversations among family members. They appeared to be "real" conversations; I didn't find myself thinking, as I do with so many other books, "There's no way anyone would really say that in the same circumstances." I like real people who speak to each other the same way people I know would speak to each other. Only maybe with fewer curse words.
The first character introduced in the book is Ellen O'Connor, a Presbyterian minister. When a young man shows up at her church, she assumes he is there for counseling. He says he was adopted and is looking for his birth parents, and he produces a birth certificate that lists Ellen as the mother. She is confused, naturally, since she has a daughter only a few months older than this boy, and he becomes angry, thinking she is trying to deny him. Ellen realizes almost immediately that while she cannot possibly be the boy's mother, it is apparent that her husband is his father.
I had no problem with this author switching point of view. In fact, she did it with such skill that she managed to change characters at just the right moment every time, creating a "cliffhanger" effect every time. When the next character picked up the storyline, there was just enough overlap that it was informative without being tedious. It gave a fresh perspective on events that had already occurred; I didn't find myself thinking, "I already KNEW that."
I couldn't put this book down. In the interest of full disclosure, that could be due to the fact that we had about a gazillion inches of rain here today, and there wasn't much else to do. Toward the end the plot line became a little contrived, and the ending was a little too pat for my taste. Still, it was a worthwhile read, and I would recommend this book.