Thursday, July 28, 2011

One Summer: A Book Review!

I don't think I've ever done a book review on my blog before, but here goes!
The book is titled One Summer (by David Baldacci)
He is one of my favorite authors but usually writes more of an intrigue/suspense genre. I was skeptical because there have been other authors that stepped outside of their norm and I was not impressed (The Painted House anyone?) So, when I saw this book, I checked it out but I kind of set it on the bottom of the stack. And started reading my other books...til I found out that this one was not renewable because it was being requested on hold at the library. Hmmmmm. Ok, I put down the other book (The Appeal by John Grisham-a so so read IMO) and picked up One Summer.
I can barely put it down.
A man (Jack) is given a death sentence. Not the legal kind but the medical kind. It never mentions the illness he has (I guess the author doesn't want you to get side-tracked by that?) but he is dying. Painfully, slowly and in front of his family. A wife, a teenage daughter, a pre-adolescent son and a toddler son. While he lays in his hospital bed languishing he has a lot of time to reflect. His goal is to make it til Christmas. And he does. But, in a cruel twist of fate, his wife goes out on icy roads to get his pain medicine-which she forgot earlier. And she never comes back. She is killed in a car crash.
In true mother-in-law-from-the-movies fashion, his wife's mother takes charge (her husband is a seemingly weak person that you get the idea that he doesn't really like her shenanigans but does nothing to contradict her) and in short? The kids are farmed out to family and dad is left in the care of hospice to die. Alone.
Let me tell you, I am not a crier...ok, Little Women made me cry as did a Danielle Steele novel (??? what's up with that?--can't even remember which one! Think it was Fine Things) once and John Grisham made me almost sob once. I think it was The Chamber. But that's nothing. I read a LOT.  But this book almost made me cry. Had I let it, I would've let loose with some real tears. But, I supressed it so I could keep reading. And because I didn't have the luxury of time for a good cry.
Anyways, now that you know I have a heart of stone (!?!)...I didn't even cry at The Titanic!
Like I said, anyways, he doesn't die. While laying there waiting to die (alone-can you imagine?) and listening to the sounds of death in the hospice he's been abandoned to...he begins to get better. He can hardly believe it...and that's where I'm leaving you. He must then grapple with how to get his kids back, physically and emotionally-especially in the case of his teenage daughter and with the issue that he was supposed to be dead, not his beloved wife. It wasn't supposed to be this way....

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