July Book Reviews

The Child Finder by Rene Denfeld. I really liked this book, but I’m having trouble putting why into words. There isn’t one particular thing I can say kept me engaged…I think it was a combination of the novel plot idea and the consistency of the writing. There weren’t a whole lot of surprises, some twists and turns to keep me engaged, but I just found myself very into this story. Naomi is the private investigator who specializes in finding missing children. The setting is the deep forest of the Pacific Northwest. The reader is taken into two points of view—that of Naomi as she searches for children and that of Madison Culver, missing for three years. Rate: 4.0

Hazards of Time Travel by Joyce Carol Oates. We have George Orwell and Margaret Atwood to scare us about our future, and this book is no exception. Seventeen year old Addie Strohl is arrested and her punishment it to be sent back in time. But is that all that is happening in the future? My favorite line (amidst many of Addie’s thoughts): “Borderline personality disorder—which made me wonder who controlled and defined the border.” Rate: 3.8

Tony’s Wife by Adriana Trigiani. This one was an impulse check out on the “New Books” shelf at the library. I gave up after chapter 2, just couldn’t take the dialogue. It read like a terrible old movie, kind of a “this is how Italian people sound” stilted edge. As Trigiani is a best selling author (and prolific) I looked up the reviews on this one. She has a lot of rave reviews, especially for a different novel, The Shoemaker’s Wife, but folks who seem to have read and loved her other work say this one is a snooze. No rating because I couldn’t read it.

The Enchanted by Rene Denfeld. Just as I felt about the previously reviewed book by this author, it’s hard to put into words what is so very engaging about her writing. The reader are taken to various points of view, unnamed for the most part, but the story takes place in a prison. Death row, to be exact. We learn about the “lady” who comes to find the very hidden secrets for one final appeal for men on death row, we learn about a fallen priest, we hear the world through a selectively mute prisoner and his innate ability to hear what others cannot. I liked this book, but be warned it is depressing. Rate: 4.0

Key for my personal rating system:

5.0 – A book I will never forget, will quote, will tell everyone I know they MUST read it.

4.0 – An excellent book, but doesn’t quite make the best books of all time list.

3.0 – A recommendation, good read, decently written

2.0 – Some redeeming qualities, I finished it, but I’m not likely to seek out more by the author.

1.0 – Don’t wast your time.