Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.
It's been a bit of a madhouse in my part of the world in life (oye), weather (30 one minute, 75 the next!), work (don't ask...unless you're in need of an assistant editor?), and also...in READING. I had hit a streak of really AMAZING reads for a while there and boy did I count myself lucky. I mean, despite carefully considering each request that comes my way and only accepting those that really grab my attention, that doesn't mean first impressions are always accurate. Hey, it happens! Remember, one person's less-than-favorite-read is another person's absolutely-positively-can't-put-down-read...and vice versa. Let's take today's selection...
Originally, this was going to be a stop along a blog tour, but things happen and alas, I'm doing a solo pitch. No worries. We TOTALLY got this...though I'm not certain everything is going to come up roses. *ahem* Ladies and gents, please allow me to introduce today's book of choice...
About the book...
Margaret Lydia Benning, twenty-eight and adrift, still lives in the same Midwest town where she went to college. By day, she works at the Project, a nonprofit publisher of children's readers housed in a former sanatorium. There she shares the fourth floor with a squadron of eccentric editors and a resident ghost from the screamers' wing. At night, Margaret returns alone to her small house on Mott Street, with only her strange neighbor, Mrs. Eberline, for company.
Emotionally sleepwalking through the days is no way to lead a life. But then Margaret meets Ben Adams, a visiting professor at the university. Through her deepening relationship with Ben she glimpses a future she had never before imagined, and for the first time she has hope . . . until Ben inexplicably vanishes. In the wake of his disappearance, Margaret sets out to find him. Her journey, a revelatory exploration of the separate worlds that exist inside us and around us, will force her to question everything she believes to be true.
Told through intertwined perspectives, by turns incandescent and haunting, Some Other Town is an unforgettable tale, with a heartbreaking twist, of one woman's awakening to her own possibility.
I admit it.
I almost called it quits while reading this one.
Am I sorry? No...for both admitting that fact as well as pushing through to the end. Why? For several reasons, a few of which I shall now illuminate.
I could not for the life of me really get into the book. I mean the lead characters made their impressions, especially the passages that dealt with Ben or his time spent with Ms. Benning. I remember the star gazing scenes perhaps the most. In dribs and drabs I was following things, but that spark, that "glued to the page" magic just never happened.
Ms. Benning's time spent at the Project.
For me, this part of the story was lackluster and free of anything that would connect it to the other bits of storyline running about. The addition of the ghost story that ran rampant through the staff seemed like an add on that wasn't really needed. The fact that the early reader books they were working on weren't really being worked on was, well in a word, absurd. I mean really, for a story that for the most part something that could actually happen, that just seemed so far beyond reason that I couldn't swallow it.
When all is said and done, the final twist or rather fitting together of the puzzle pieces was definitely a surprise I never saw coming. Was it something I missed in the details along the way? Perhaps, but I'd like to think that the author kept it so well hidden, you couldn't see the forest for the trees so to speak.
In conclusion, though certainly not for every audience (*raises hand*), it doesn't mean that the perfect assembly of readers isn't out there for it. If you like strange and wandering tales that keep you guessing, with glimpses of past, present, and future running about...this just might be the match you're bookish heart has been looking for. Just remember....hang on to the facts with both hands, lest you get swept away like Mrs. Eberline in her many personalities.
Special thanks to Trish (a fantastic book promoter) and the team over at Harper Perennial for the ARC for review. (THANKS!) For more information on this title as well as the publisher's full catalog, feel free to click through the links included above. This title celebrated its book birthday just last month, so be on the lookout for the on a bookstore shelf or virtual retailer of your choosing.
Until next time...happy reading!