Book Discussion for August 2017

AUGUST’S BOOK–Meeting on Thursday, August 3rd 

Before the Fall by Noah Hawley

Did you read this book? What are your thoughts? Post your thoughts for discussion in the comments section!

(Click on the Image below to read a review)

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Review & Discussion Highlights of The Vanishing Year by Kate Moretti

Our group had some wonderful conversation last night at the Inn about Kate Moretti’s The Vanishing Year. Our rating of this book was 3.5 Magnifying Glasses.

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Most of us agreed that we enjoyed this book a little more than the book we read last month (Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris), which was also a psychological thriller. Moretti offered more of the classic elements of a mystery novel in The Vanishing Year, offering clues to try to decipher along the way–sometimes buried and at other times in plain sight.

One of the things that I was particularly fond of in Moretti’s writing style was her ability to create deep, intricate, mulit-dimensional characters. There was no one character in the book who was flat, or just all good or all evil (except for maybe Henry who was a very sick, psychopathic sociopath). I appreciated this about the book and found the characters easier to identify with and make connections with–not despite their flaws but because of their flaws. It made them feel more human in a sense.

The other thing that our group enjoyed about the book was the ending. You get a real sense of closure as Zoe finally puts her mother to rest with a proper burial (spreading of her ashes) and comes to a self-realization that allows her to bring all of her identities to together and in a way that will enable her to continue to grow and evolve as a person. You can imagine a future for Zoe, and you get the feeling that she will move on and be okay.

One thing we all could agree on after our rendezvous with both Jack Angel and Henry Whitaker is that we could use a little break from psychotic husbands with control issues. We are moving on to a more classic crime mystery for next month and reading Louise Penny’s A Great Reckoning.

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This book is the newest installment (12th in the series) of the Armand Gamache books. Don’t worry if you haven’t read the other books in this mystery series (I haven’t, either). All of Penny’s Armand Gamache books are written in a manner that they could be stand-alone books even though they are part of a series. So, you can read one, you can read them all, and you can read them in any order you’d like. We will be discussing this book at our next meeting on May 4th. Stop into the library to check-out a copy of the book and join us for food, great company, and great conversation!

Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris: After the Discussion

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Our Group’s Rating of this Book: 3.5 Magnifying Glasses star-rating-3-5

What a lovely time we had at our first meeting of Mysteries at the Inn on March 2, 2017. We discussed the book Behind Closed Doors by author B.A. Paris. There were 13 of us in attendance, and the conversation was wonderful!

Behind Closed Doors is the first novel written and published by the author. While novel falls under the mystery genre, our group was in agreement that it felt more like a psychological thriller. If you’re looking for a mystery that you presents clues along the way where you can “solve” a mystery, this might not be the book for you. However, if you’re looking for a book that takes you on a journey into the deepest, darkest parts of human psyche, then you will enjoy this debut title.

Our group discussed a few key points regarding the book. First, while the past-present format that the author uses to tell the story could be a bit hard to follow at times, many of us thought it helped to keep the story moving along–especially during the middle chapters where some of us felt the writing fell flat and a bit dull at times.

Second, many of us found Grace’s character to be a bit hard to identify with because of her naivety, and her willingness to  drop her entire life to be complacent with Jack’s requests before they married and she discovered he was a psychopath; however, we could explain it with the fact that she was so enamored and charmed by this seemingly perfect man who showed her and her sister, Millie, the love that she has for so long desired. The fact that he was willing to accept her and Millie in a way that even their parents could not was enough to sweep Grace off her feet. She was blinded by love and unable to see those red flags that the reader clearly could.

Third, our group found Millie’s character to be refreshing. I personally loved that the author presented Millie, a person with Down’s Syndrome, to be smart, clever, and intuitive. A member of my family whom I love dearly has Down’s Syndrome, and it was so incredibly remarkable to see a character presented in a way that I see my loved one.

Finally, our group discussed our appreciation for the fact that the author left gruesome and crude details out of the book. The twisted ways of Jack were gory enough, and we were happy to be spared the gross and imprudent details that unfortunately so often dominate these types of novels. Kudos to the author here!

Overall, our group gave this book a rating of 3.5 out of 5 magnifying glasses! We’d love to hear your thoughts on Behind Closed Doors, so please feel free to comment and chat in response to this post! We hope you’ll join us next time at Mysteries at the Inn!

 

Welcome to the Club!

Welcome to the Mysteries at the Inn Book Club, hosted by Kinsman Free Public Library! I’m Kimberly Garrett, Library Director and Club Facilitator. I am excited to meet everyone at our first meeting this evening at the Peter Allen Inn. I love to read all genres, but mysteries and thrillers are among my favorites! I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on our first book selection, Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris. I found this novel to be riveting and incredibly written. The way the author toggles back between the past and present to build suspense had me on the edge of my seat. I found myself wanting to jump into the book with the characters. This novel offers a clever insight into the deepest and sometimes darkest parts of human nature. The characters display heroism, deceit, love, angst, desperation and hope in a thrilling way that left me with chills. I am anxious to hear what you thought about the book tonight at Mysteries at the Inn! Feel free to share your thoughts here, too, by commenting on this post.