Murder. Power. Corruption. Greed. Infidelity. But what I love is the way that the author is able to portray that nothing is ever black and white, or so easily right and wrong. The best we can do is to be the best we can be in a way that does the most good for the most people.
This was my first book by the sister writing duo publishing under the pen name Liv Constantine. Their earlier book, The Last Mrs. Parrish, received rave reviews and that was enough for me that when my mom asked me if I wanted to borrow this one, I said absolutely! The book opens strongly, with a woman gasping for breath in an inferno, struggling to make it to safety. It pretty much goes downhill from there. Why? Well, several things actually.
It's my belief that good books are diverting and can take you to a place outside of where you are in the real world, but great books are those that make you think, that challenge you to re-evaluate what you know, that change your viewpoint, that teach you something. Few authors are able to deliver on greatness time after time, but Kristin Hannah appears to be one of those authors.
There are so many layers that drive this story all the way to its heart-wrenching conclusion.We see how each character's insecurities cause them to misconstrue the words and actions of those around them and how those insecurities embitter them toward one another as well. Will the characters' individual insecurities and motivations break the family apart, or will they be able to heal together after their loss?
This book brought up soo many emotions...fear, anger, betrayal, frustration, guilt, empathy, and so many more I can't put words to right now. How do all of these emotions resonate with me as a reader? Easy, I'm a woman, and this book tells my story.
I'm not sure any other thriller thoroughly creeped me out the way this one did. I had this perpetual skin-crawling sensation the entire time I was reading this book, and I'm not really sure if it was in a good way or a bad way.
I'm afraid once again I am against the grain with many readers of this book. I liked it a little better than okay, but fresh off the heels of reading the Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, this book just didn't have the same magic.
Female spies, forbidden love, and a Soviet traitor....this should be good. I think that it was an excellent portrayal of women in a post-WWII world and the obstacles that they faced both personally and in the workplace....a diverting read and enjoyable enough.
This story, steeped with the many varied beliefs, myths, and superstitions of several cultures living in 1930s Malaya (now Malaysia), is richly evocative and nuanced with an ethereal quality to the story. Mystery, magic, and amazing world building, this is a sure-to-please read.
Usually, I open my reviews stating whether I liked a book or not, but I'm not sure I can do that for this one. Like (or dislike for that matter) is just not the right word for it. Captivating, compelling, engrossing, illuminating -- it was all of those things.