February 5, 2012
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I’ve been busying catching up on some books that have been on my bookshelf for a bit. The first was a really nice surprise. The Mistress’s Revenge (B+) by Tamar Cohen was an advance copy edition that I got from Simon and Schuster in July. I guess I kept passing it over because I expected a really light and fluffy read. From the very first page, this book was nothing like what I expected.
The back jacket refers to the book as a new version of Fatal Attraction and that indeed describes the story. It is narrated through a journal that Sally Islip keeps as part of her therapy to overcome her recent break up with Oliver Gooding. The journal chronicles her present state of mind and replays events that occurred during their affair. Oliver Gooding is a married man that spends countless hours on his computer for business. He strikes up an email relationship with Sally, innocently at first that escalates to an all consuming affair. Sally is completely unwilling to accept Oliver calling it quits and becomes “the stalking” neighbor; encroaching into his family life. It would be easy to assume you know the last chapter of this book, but readers beware; it is not what you think. The surprise ending is a testament to a well written novel that kept my interest to the very last word.
My second selection was an eBook that was waiting for me on my Kindle. At first I found Bound (C) by Antonya Nelson pretty engaging. I plugged along at a good pace in spite of the often times over written text. There was one sentence that actually contained 85 words.
Catherine was raised in Wichita and has never left. She is married to Oliver (yes another Oliver) a man much older than she. Catherine is his third wife. He has two children from his previous marriages but he and Catherine haven’t had any children together. This will soon change as Catherine is named guardian of Cattie the daughter of her best friend in high school. Catherine hasn’t spoken to Misty, Cattie’s mother, in over 15 years and is amazed that she had been named her legal guardian.
The novel had several “side bars” going at the same time, a serial killer, the Sweetheart, dogs aplenty and an ailing mother which all made for a very crowded story. The storyline of Catherine and Cattie would have been novel enough. All the other stuff was just loud background noise.
Of the two, I recommend adding The Mistress’s Revenge to your shelf while shelving Bound.