Friday, March 28, 2014


Monday, Monday: A NovelMonday, Monday: A Novel by Elizabeth Crook

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Such a compelling novel! Books like this make me wish I was still in a book club, because this story needs to be discussed with fellow readers!

The main topic I'd like to discuss: Does grief give you the right to behave any way you want? Say and do anything you want? Really?

This book is very much about how various people cope with the grief encountered in life ... succumbing to it, regretting it, muddling through it, and finally overcoming it. We all handle it differently. Do we have any right to judge others and the way they handle it?

For example, Crook writes:

""Look what I've done," he said. "You trusted me, and look what I've done." He had come to her aid, and then he had wrecked her life."

- and -

""I don't want to live my whole life knowing that my fears might come true, and just hoping for them not to." Shelly didn't answer for a moment before saying, "But that's what most of us do. And if they do come true, we survive and then walk down the middle of whatever road we choose then.""

But don't worry!!

This book isn't only about grief, it is also very much about LOVE: the types of love we allow ourselves to receive from others, the types of love we allow ourselves to give to others, and the type of love that sustains us and moves us to better lives.

Elizabeth Crook's writing is beautiful, and she has an amazing ability to paint the scene and show the reader the action. The beginning and the ending sections of this book were by far my favorites. The middle slowed quite a bit in some places with a lot of "telling" rather than "showing" scenes. However, to cover the spans of time in this multi-generational book, I'm not quite sure how Crook could have accomplished it otherwise. Also in the middle there seemed to be some scenes that felt like "fillers" to me. Again, this is something I'd like to discuss with a book club (if only I was in one! ha). I'd like to ask if they thought the scenes were relevant to the plot or not. And frankly, the muddle in the middle is the only reason I knocked this book's rating from five stars to four stars. Everything else was great. Crook even made me cry multiple times!

This is a story that will linger in my mind for a while.

There is sexuality and violence in this book, but nothing mind-shattering. The language is very clean; I can only recall a couple of cuss words. Definitely a book I'd let my mother read. *wink* Oh, and then I'd have someone to discuss it with! Very good idea.

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