October 2020–Part Two

Thank you for joining me here!   (Reminder: the page numbers I list here reflect the number of Kindle pages, not paper pages.)  I hope you enjoy this series and I’d love to hear from you about what you are reading these days.

Book #1:    

The Scent Keeper by Erica Bauermeister (Length: 316 pages).   This was my book club’s selection for October, and I really enjoyed (most of) it. I was reminded quite a bit of the book Where the Crawdads Sing in terms of the (island) setting. I thought the author here nailed the trifecta–setting, plot and character development. But here the setting is the most effective, especially for the first 2/3 of the book. My least favorite parts of the book occur on the mainland, or in the “city”. I found the subplot on scents and how they affect us to be fascination. The plot or central mystery is good here, and the character development is excellent (whether or not you love the main characters is another thing). Definitely would recommend this book. 

Book #2:

A Happy Catastrophe by Maddie Dawson (Length: 378 pages).  This is the sequel to the author’s novel Matchmaking for Beginners (which I reviewed in January of this year), and follows up on the characters of Marnie and Patrick. I enjoyed the first novel much more than this continuation, mainly because the middle, or the meat of the novel dragged on for way too long, thanks to Patrick’s depression. As a reader, I was initially sympathetic to his plight, but once the point is made, do we need to belabor it at the expense of the plot? This was not what I was looking for in a novel in this genre. Having said that, I still believe that Matchmaking is one of the best “romance” novels I’ve ever read. Read that one instead.

Book #3:

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro (Length: 272 pages).   I have had this book on my TBR list for ages, and when I was loaned a copy of it by a good friend, I was excited to finally read it, given all of its hype (that it’s a very polarizing read). Written by the award-winning author of The Remains of the Day, this is a short novel initially set in an English boarding school. The central mystery is alluded to immediately, but it takes almost the entire novel to be entirely fleshed out. This is very well-written, with a plot that is a tad bit too drawn out. The character development is excellent (but don’t expect likeable people), and the plot will give you a LOT of food for thought. This is a fantastic book club pick because it will generate interesting and very thought-provoking discussions on medical ethics and morals in our society.

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