Change of tack this month. In an effort to keep up with my blogging I am going to write this blog as I read it so I don’t end up with a big long thing to write later on and to give you my impressions as I go along rather than with the benefit of hindsight.....
My initial thoughts upon receiving the book - too much like 'Before I Go To Sleep' granted this is American and you don’t know if the husband is the bad guy but the way it flittered between timelines made me grant the parallel.
Gut instinct I don’t like Amy – don’t like her pop quizzes, seems as though you are reading a magazine article rather than someone’s diary. Too over romanticised (is that a word?) with the (literally) sugar coated first kiss and the single olive in joke. But then she is a writer for a magazine so could just be her style.
RANT ALERT! I really really don’t like it when an author deliberately makes you think a certain person did it when they haven’t. It just feels as though it’s a complete waste of time investing in reading the pages and building emotions against someone to be told ha ha no! You got it wrong. Well no I didn’t actually but when you say something like ‘If they found out where I really was that night I would be in serious trouble’ what else am I supposed to think? The book seems as though it’s going down this path with you being lead to believe the husband (Nick) is the bad guy (what’s with the name Lance by the way?) For example he ‘gave a killer’s smile’, ‘this was the fifth lie I had told the police this morning’. Suspense can be built in other ways (like not showing us what the second clue was initially), I think it takes more skill but let us readers make our own conclusions, we have brains and would like to use them occasionally. Rant over. For now.
Even though Nick is being framed to be the bad guy I find myself routing for him and want him to give the right replies to the press/police etc. I did find it interesting when he said that was the fifth lie he had told the police. I wanted to go back and reread what he had said to see what the other lies could be.
Ok first bombshell hit – Andie. I really really don’t like the fact he has a mistress. He was aware that we wouldn’t like it and she comes across (initially) as a needy/clingy/bimbo. It’s interesting that he is now either totally bad (killed wife and has a mistress) or now half bad (has a mistress) if it’s the latter there is no real hero anymore to the book as even if he isn’t the killer he isn’t a good guy anymore and so you lose a bit of wanting him to be ok. Is this a mistake by the author? Can there be any sort of happy ending? Andie certainly hasn’t been introduced as the one true love of his life who he can be happy ever after with if Amy is dead and he is not the killer. Yet if Amy returns there now won’t be an automatic happy ending for him (us) either.
I’m liking the two stories/sides starting to merge. As they get closer in time it’s sad to see the way each of them saw the other and misinterpreted what has gone wrong in their marriage. She thinks the route of it is him losing his job, resenting her having money as feeling less like a man and stops communicating. He thinks she resents moving to look after his mother, won’t do anything to fit in and be happy and just becomes a nag. Why don’t people talk to each other?
BOMBSHELL ALERT. Ok I’m really surprised with the twist (if you haven’t read it all look away now!) I didn’t expect Amy to have set it all up. The level of fore planning is really good but then obviously made up by author – just happened to take Andie and Amy to Hannibal, how convenient. And so now I’m suddenly routing for Nick again even though I don’t really like him.
I feel like this section of the book (sorry when we are following Amy to the motel etc) is dragging slightly. Why are we being given details of Amys life on the run, her new friends? I'm not surprised when she decides not to kill herself. How overly dramatic of her to think that in the first place.
So now Desi is back in the picture and I’m starting to feel as though the book is turning another way and perhaps Amy will get her just deserts. Wouldn’t it be ironic if she ends up dead anyway and Nick gets done for it. That way neither of them gets their happy ending.
I’m really really disappointed with the ending. No one has got their just deserts and WHY does Nick stay with Amy. I know you’re going to say because he doesn’t want to be like his dad and he wants his son to not be raised by her but its just ridiculous. Why did he stay that long to give her time to get pregnant in the first place? It feels like a wash out.
Let me put it to you - basically Amy set up her husband, big time, kills an innocent man and is about to have her husbands baby that she managed to create using her husbands frozen sperm. Even though the husband knows all of the above, he is still living with her playing happy families. It’s just so unbelievable. Stupid.
Andie was just shoved out of the picture. Desi was killed but apart from the mother having a bit of a face off it seems to have been brushed under the carpet and they are now both massively in debt thanks to Amys credit card spending. I didn’t get all this hinting that Boney was on his side either . Really it was pointless in the end that she was as neither her, Nick or Go could manage anything other than pancakes for breakfast.
I was however really annoyed by her parents, how they turned. Nick was innocent (apart from affair obviously) yet they went on public record basically stating they thought he did it. If I was him I would want to scream at them see I told you so and never let them back in my house again. Them and my neighbours and the press who were equally horrible.
I feel like I have been pushed and pulled in so many directions that I’m left not knowing what to think. I think my overall feeling is that of confusion and disbelief – so, they are just going to carry on living together?!? I’m not one necessarily for happy endings, but this was just bizarre and annoying.
Unfortunately the milestone of turning 30 got in the way of me attending the book club so I don't really know what was discussed other than it was awarded 7. More than me who would have given it a 5.
Not sure that I'm a fan of this 'write as I read' style as reading the blog back it's not entirely clear where abouts in the book I am. Apologies if it is hard to follow. Got to try new things now and again though but think will revert back to old style.
It's nice to see I have another follower. Please feel free to comment, do you agree with what I said? Did you miss the meeting and want to add something or ask what was discussed (can't help you this month but future months I will be able to). Do you have friends who although not part of book club have read book and have their own comments? If yes point them here!!!!!!!
Next book Me Before You by Jojo Moyes.