Not In Jersey: What I’ve Been Reading #21 What I’ve Been Reading #21 - Not In Jersey

What I’ve Been Reading #21

Friday, May 17, 2013

“In the summer of '76, the Shulmans and the Melishes migrate to Kaaterskill, the tiny town in upstate New York where Orthodox Jews and Yankee year-rounders live side by side from June through August. Elizabeth Shulman, a devout follower of Rav Elijah Kirshner and the mother of five daughters, is restless. She needs a project of her own, outside her family and her cloistered community. Across the street, Andras Melish is drawn to Kaaterskill by his adoring older sisters, bound to him by their loss and wrenching escape from the Holocaust. Both comforted and crippled by his sisters' love, Andras cannot overcome the ambivalence he feels toward his children and his own beautiful wife. At the top of the hill, Rav Kirshner is coming to the end of his life, and he struggles to decide which of his sons should succeed him: the pious but stolid Isaiah, or the brilliant but worldly Jeremy. Behind the scenes, alarmed as his beloved Kaaterskill is overdeveloped by Michael King, the local real estate broker, Judge Miles Taylor keeps an old secret in check, biding his time....” This book was basically a collection of stories about various characters living in the same town. All the stories are connected, which is how it becomes a novel, but they weren’t connected in a way that truly kept my interest. I read the book and finished it, but didn’t love it.

“Kendall’s managed to wrangle her grandmother’s house—free and clear—except for the rules. No male roommates. But that’s ok, with the right ad she’ll pull in some girls, their rent and if she’s lucky, she won’t have to go to work any time soon. For their part, Anna, Lelani, and Megan all have their reasons for wanting to move in: Anna has got to get out from under her overprotective parents; Lelani can’t take another day in her aunt’s tiny crackerbox house overflowing with toddlers and Megan needs a place free of her current roommate from Hades. Though they come with assorted extra baggage filled with broken hearts and dreams, they will discover they also have a vast array of hidden strengths. As they struggle to become the women they want to be, they’ll find new hope and maybe even Kendall will learn a thing or two about life, love and the true meaning of friendship.” After Kaaterskill Falls, I needed something very light, and this did the trick. A very quick read about a group of girls who move into a house, this book introduces the girls and sets up their friendship. Since this is the first book in a series, it seems that most of the plot will actually occur in the future books. However, I did enjoy getting to know the girls and the beginnings of their stories.

“On the day she was abducted, Annie O’Sullivan, a thirty-two-year-old Realtor, had three goals: sell a house, forget about a recent argument with her mother, and be on time for dinner with her ever-patient boyfriend. The open house is slow, but when her last visitor pulls up in a van as she’s about to leave, Annie thinks it just might be her lucky day after all. Interwoven with the story of the year Annie spent captive in a remote mountain cabin — which unfolds through sessions with her psychiatrist — is a second narrative recounting the nightmare that follows her escape: her struggle to piece her shattered life back together, the ongoing police investigation into the identity of her captor, and the disturbing sense that things are far from over. The truth doesn’t always set you free. Still Missing is a shocking, visceral, brutal, and beautifully crafted debut novel about surviving the unsurvivable — and living to bear witness.” If you read and enjoyed Gone Girl, you will love this book too. This is the kind of book you absolutely cannot put down. You just have to keep reading, no matter how upsetting and scary Annie’s story is. And as much as her story is horrifying, her strength is admirable and is what makes her such a great character. I highly recommend this book!


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