Sunday, November 14, 2010

Red Hook Road – A Review

Disclaimer: A copy of this book was provided by Doubleday Publishing for review. The views expressed here are honest and are in no way influenced by the author or the publisher.

Synopsis via Google books

Set on the coast of Maine over the course of four summers, Red Hook Road tells the story of two families, the Tetherlys and the Copakens, and of the ways in which their lives are unraveled and stitched together by misfortune, by good intentions and failure, and by love and calamity. 

A marriage collapses under the strain of a daughter’s death; two bereaved siblings find comfort in one another; and an adopted young girl breathes new life into her family with her prodigious talent for the violin. As she writes with obvious affection for these unforgettable characters, Ayelet Waldman skillfully interweaves life’s finer pleasures—music and literature—with the more mundane joys of living. Within these resonant pages, a vase filled with wildflowers or a cold beer on a hot summer day serve as constant reminders that it’s often the little things that make life so precious.

My Review

How often you get to read a story that completely grips your heart and mind. How often do you find stories that have all the right elements; well written, sound characters, keeps you invested in the story? Well Red Hook Road is one of those stories so much so that it just came out of nowhere and left me with a lasting impression.

The main theme is about grief and how two families deal with it over the course of four (4) summers. Throughout the story there are blatant examples of how grief affected the family. This is my first from Waldman and she seems to belong to a small, elite group of authors who are able to tap into (and rather seamlessly) the psyche of their characters, bringing forth human emotions that are only privy to psychologist and therapist. Her writing was often times harsh and sad and most times you felt emotionally ‘heavy’ after reading the book. With grief, there is also need for closure and while it came in a strange and almost prophetic way, it is closure nonetheless.

Having the story come full circle was also a great way for the author to create closure for the readers. When we start off, we are first introduced to the happy couple on their weeding day and within the first few chapters something tragic happen. We watch both families first realize their grief and then have their entire lives morphed by it. With the exception of two characters, no one is able to come to terms with the deaths until the very end. Then, the story comes full circle in the epilogue when we are exposed to the final moments of the couple.

Readers who are looking for a serious novel or those who have acquired a taste for only the best will delve into this book and not let go.  And with good reason. Waldman has produced yet another great story and I look forward to reading more from her.

1 comment:

jewelknits said...

Wasn't this book great! I was right in there with the characters from the very beginning! Thanks for your review!

Julie @ Knitting and Sundries

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