23. All the Missing Girls, Megan Miranda. (Library) This has been hanging out on my to-read list, and I finally got it from the library. I enjoyed the story a great deal, however (you knew there was a however, right?)…. The book uses a distracting format – the story is told over two weeks, but instead of going from Day 1 to Day 15, we go from Day 15 to Day 1. This is an interesting device, but ultimately I’m not sure it adds enough to be worthwhile. I enjoyed the story, though, and would like to re-read it in the right order to see how it holds up.
24. Life After Life, Kate Atkinson. (Library) WHAT a good book. It dealt with terribly depressing subjects, yet rarely felt gloomy or maudlin. The main character, Ursula Todd, dies and is reborn many times over the course of the book. The author manages to re-tell the same story, over and over, and make it feel fresh with each telling.
25. The Bad Seed, William March. (Library, Book Club Selection) I was looking forward to reading this book as a history lesson – this novel was written in 1954 – but I found myself just as captivated as I would be with a modern thriller. There were definitely moments where it showed its age, but those were brief. I am very glad I got a chance to read this.
26. The Quick, Lauren Owen. (Library) Solidly enjoyable, if a bit slow at first. I wouldn’t say I loved it, but I didn’t hate it, either. It felt a bit loose, or out of focus. It was hard to know who the protagonist of the novel was supposed to be. Spoiler alert: it’s a vampire book, but a subtle one.
27. Margaret the First, Danielle Dutton. (Library) I’m going to be honest here: I don’t remember putting this book on hold, so when I got an e-mail notifying me it was ready to be picked up, I thought What the heck, let’s give it a try. This was foolish. I’d never heard of Margaret Cavendish before this, and quite frankly, learned little of interest about her life. It is as though Margaret herself – known for her eccentricities and social awkwardness – wrote this as an autobiography. It is rambling and, at times, incoherent. I think the audience for this novel is devotees of Margaret Cavendish, people who already see her as an important and unique figure in history, who already know her story. As someone just trying to get a feel for her, or learn about her, this book was a flop.