You can call Loose Ends social commentary, a mystery to be solved, a psychological thriller, an escape novel for the novel, and even a comedy of errors. While it’s a serious situation both women are in now and were in when they were growing up temporarily in El Salvador, there’s a comedic lining.
Preston crafts a parallel mystery that keeps the reader turning pages. What’s the link between these two characters? They appear to have nothing in common and are leading completely unrelated lifestyles. Gillian is an insulated city girl focused on her career and making a half-hearted attempt to save her crumbling marriage; Greer’s family is urban, outdoorsy, close-knit, and protective of each other.
The choppy, lean writing strikes me as a guy’s kind of writing, but I do love some quirky humor sprinkled throughout. Two cheap Santas fight for the right to be in Andy’s bar and another time two wobbly octogenarians punch it out for the woman they love and the hubby shatters the other’s dentures. Defeated the toothless gent totters up to the bar to ask for a beer and is told “no teeth, no beer!”
The premise hooked me into agreeing to review it. In the distant year 2107 a young, faceless British man can’t find a job or girlfriend and still lives with his parents, although he seems to be a decent, if desperate kind of chap.
Be Still the Water is full of nuance, small moments that add dimension to the larger story. It’s the story of a family and how that family helped to build a community in a brand-new place. It’s the story of a young girl and how she was the anchor of her family in so many ways.
Novels about girlhood friends reuniting as adults and reinventing their relationship are always popular. In The Book Shop at Water’s End by Patti Callahan Henry, the “summer sisters” are Bonny and Lainey, now in their fifties, who have kept in touch since their three pre-teen summers at Watersend, South Carolina, in the 1970s. As the story opens, Bonny is about to leave her domineering husband and her job as an Emergency Room doctor in Charleston, SC for a better position in Atlanta, GA.
There’s never been a more welcoming time in America than now for irreverent social satire, such as embraced by Ian Woollen’s latest called Muir Woods Or Bust. It winks and grins slyly as you determine to pick it up, a premonition of what you’ll soon be engaged in doing. I certainly welcome Woollen’s earthy, ground-shaking wit on display in its pages and you likely will also.
Adrian Mitchell’s exquisite writing captures the essence of the island in such a way that the reader becomes immersed in the life upon it. And within these wonderful descriptions of a tropical paradise it is easy for the reader to be completely captivated by the imagined life of his subject. The author’s words, spoken through the mind of the beachcomber’s wife, draw us in so that we feel her emotions one after the other.
It’s obvious that Annie Seaton has put great efforts into researching this story and she is well at home with this genre. The characters throughout are all well honed, coming across as credible, and the immaculately portrayed places fully loaded with poisonous snakes, aggressive cassowaries, amusing characters, exotic parrots, random crocodiles, and a selection of assorted frogs. The writing reveals a majestic and ancient rainforest.
Mishra explores the banality of archetypical life in a nimble manner, raising questions about the nature of reality, and perception. Pawan Mishra has accomplished an exceptional, fascinating, and, at times entertaining book which also points the reader toward a moral lesson without doing so in a ‘preachy’ manner.