Sunday, October 24, 2010

Book #22: A First Reads Win

I saw a review of "Bound" by Antonya Nelson in the Kansas City Star one Sunday and was intrigued. It was partially set in Wichita around the time that a long-quiet serial killer had reappeared on the scene. Being from Wichita and living there during that time, I wanted to read the book. It happened that it was part of a "first reads" giveaway on Goodreads. I entered and was one of the lucky winners of a copy of the book.

In "Bound", Catherine Desplaines is married to a cheating husband, going innocently about life, when she learns that her high school best friend has been killed in a car accident and has given custody of her teenage daughter to Catherine. My expectation was that the story would center on the relationship between Catherine and this new child in her life, but that relationship didn't begin until there were about 40 pages left in the book. Instead, the book focuses on Catherine and her memories of this long ago friend that she was no longer in touch with. It also spends a great deal of time on the teenage girl and the cheating husband-all separate from Catherine. It was an interesting plot development that I enjoyed, even if it wasn't what I anticipated.

There were several scenes of Wichita that were described throughout the story. I paid very close attention and they all seemed to be accurate except for one detail. Ms. Nelson speaks about the newspaper in Wichita and calls it the Wichita Eagle-Beacon. At one time this was the name of the paper, but at the time in which the book was set, the paper was called (still is, in fact) the Wichita Eagle. If there were any other inaccuracies, they didn't catch my eye.

This was an enjoyable book to read, although I didn't become very attached to any of the characters in it. I never felt especially connected to Catherine, which surprised me. I never felt like she needed my sympathy for the life she had now or in her past. It was as if she was comfortable with it, so I didn't need to feel sorry for her or her situation.

This was a book that I received for free from the publisher, Bloomsbury. Winning a copy in no way influenced my review of the book or the author. The opinion expressed in this review is my honest opinion about the book.

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