Interestingly, this week I read two separate books about men who had a high chance of dying and instead, their wives died.
The first, One Summer by David Baldacci, features “terminally ill Jack and his family. With only a short time left to live, he spends his last days preparing to say goodbye to his devoted wife, Lizzie, and their three children. Then, unthinkably, tragedy strikes again: Lizzie is killed in a car accident. With no one able to care for them, the children are separated from each other and sent to live with family members around the country. Just when all seems lost, Jack begins to recover in a miraculous turn of events. He rises from what should have been his deathbed, determined to bring his fractured family back together. Struggling to rebuild their lives after Lizzie’s death, he reunites everyone at Lizzie’s childhood home on the oceanfront in South Carolina. And there, over one unforgettable summer, Jack will begin to learn to love again, and he and his children will learn how to become a family once more.” Although the plot line could have produced a good story, most of it was annoying and not very well written. There could have been more emotion written into this book, as well as more mystery, more romance, and more believability. It was definitely not a favorite of mine.
The second book, Don’t Go by Lisa Scottoline, was better, but not much better. “When Dr. Mike Scanlon is called to serve as an army doctor in Afghanistan, he’s acutely aware of the dangers he’ll face and the hardships it will cause his wife Chloe and newborn baby. And deep inside, he doesn’t think of himself as a warrior, but a healer. However, in an ironic turn of events, as Mike operates on a wounded soldier in a war-torn country, Chloe dies at home in the suburbs, in an apparent household accident. Devastated, he returns home to bury her, only to discover that the life he left behind has fallen apart. His medical practice is in jeopardy, and he is a complete stranger to the only family he has left – his precious baby girl. Worse, he learns a shocking secret that sends him into a downward spiral.” I expected more from this book as I’ve heard good things about Scottoline’s books and remember enjoying a book I read by her in the past. However, I could take or leave this one. It was so-so. I hoped for more in the mystery / thriller aspect of the book that I did not find, though I was happy that I did not guess the ending. What bothered me the most was that I could not imagine the main character. I pictured him as much older than he was meant to be. I wonder if other readers felt like this too, or if it was just me.
What have you been reading lately?