Borderliners by Peter Hoeg ~ Fiction Book Review

429631Although published in the 1980s, this has all the makings of a modern psychological thriller. Orphans accepted into a private, elite school for unknown reasons, some type of ‘master plan’ conspiracy, the fight against the ‘establishment’. Yet, it’s so much more.

The struggle to grow up and survive, the yearning to understand, the desire for love, the need for family – the themes run deep in this fictional story that hints at autobiography.

Peter’s growing obsession with time is the underlying current that flows throughout the book, finally surging with the force of a tsunami to the forefront at the conclusion. The science of the study of time, the history of clocks, the physics of past, present and future is fascinating – but it detracts from the story, overshadowing it. Originally written in Danish, I can’t help but wonder what, if anything, may have been lost in translation. There was a lot going on in this book. A bit too much, for my taste. I found it a touch overwhelming. Very good, but a lot to handle. 4 stars.

 

Nine by Jan Burke ~ Fiction Book Review

wpb16I read my first Jan Burke book over ten years ago and really enjoyed it. Yet, for some strange reason that I still can’t figure out, I never picked up any of her other books until a few months ago, when I read her short story anthology, Eighteen, which I loved so much that it inspired me to write a fresh batch of my own short stories.

I know Burke’s Irene Kelly series is wildly popular, but I’m fickle about series. You get attached. You make (imaginary) friends. Eventually the author takes the characters you know and love down a character arc you can’t forgive, and you lose a loved one. I no longer see the point in entering what is bound to be a tragic relationship doomed from the start.

Nine is one of Burke’s stand alone novels. It seems as though she feels that it’s important for the reader to really know the characters, to understand where they’re coming from and what their motivation is. That may have slowed the pacing in this book a bit. By the end of the book, it didn’t matter at all. If she had sped through the plot instead of building the slow and steady suspense that culminated in a big, breathless climax, it wouldn’t have been the same ride. (And this book is a ride.) 5 stars.

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty ~ Fiction Review

book6Only a few pages into this book I thought, Wow, what fun. Very campy. It’s like one of those cute, cozy cat mysteries. Then I looked at the quote from Stephen King on the cover and thought, Stephen King likes cozy cat mysteries, hee, hee, hee. 

Maybe he does, but this is not one of those cozy little books where the cat helps the old lady solve the mystery. Far from it. Moriarty is like a magician. An awesome Australian magician. Somewhere along the way, things get real. Only  you’re still having fun, so you don’t really notice until suddenly you’re novel deep in serious subject matter.

I really enjoyed this book and definitely recommend it, but I have to disagree with Mr. King. I didn’t find the book scary at all. The only thing that’s scary  is the willingness and ease with which women will blame themselves and shoulder burdens, but as a woman, I already knew that. The horrors in this book were those of everyday reality, artfully told. Five stars.

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