Saturday, April 12, 2008

More Than Half-Way!

I got a lot of reading done this last couple of weeks.

Book #25 was Barbara Pym's Less Than Angels. I enjoyed the combination of gentle but acerbic humor, and I really cared about Catherine and Phoebe and their graceful competition for Tom Mallow's love. Her writing is very Jane Austenish and I think the fact that I've been watching the Jane Austen offerings on public TV's Masterpiece at the same time, was a great mindset!

Death a L'Orange was book #26. This is part of a series and falls into the category of a "cozy" mystery. Carolyn is a food writer and she is on a tour of France with her husband and son when strange "accidents" begin to happen. Needless to say she is right in the thick of it and attempts to solve the mystery of who and why. The story is told from several different points of view. While I enjoyed the diary entries from the perpetrator, I didn't think it was necessary to include her husband's point of view. I much prefer the Diane Mott Davidson series and Philip R. Craig series, but I'll probably pick up another of Nancy Fairbanks' books for a quick easy read.

#27 was Change of Heart by Jody Picoult. This one was a challenging read due to the subject matter and to the writing quality. I still haven't decided what I think about it. It was a gripping read, and I enjoyed the characters grappling with the religious questions raised in the plot. Personally, I love wrestling with theological questions so that aspect of the novel held me. The death penalty question and the civil rights of prison inmates also poses questions worth thinking about. However, as a whole I was disappointed in the novel. Her trademark twist didn't work for me -- it was predictable and disappointing. I usually leave a Picoult novel feeling "Wow, I didn't see that coming! But what a great ending!" That's not the feeling I was left with here. I also found the switching back and forth between character's perspectives less effective than in other novels.

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