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This book does not have the complex characters that have populated Anita Shreve's novels in the past. The characters seem rather limited, live within a very narrow world in a rural state. There is something about this book that makes me think it's one of Shreve's earlier novels, re-engineered and re-marketed, even though the publication date says 2010. There is no mention of email, text messaging, internet in general, all the ways the web has become such a significant part of our lives and an integral part of the way we do business.
Are these methods of communication and information-gathering too mundane and pedestrian for writers to work with? The preponderance of fiction that takes place in the 80's and 90's for no other significant plot reason like a flashback, makes me think writers want to avoid the entire realm of digital communication in general.
However, this "listen" is interesting for its discussions of EMT procedures and insight into the life of an emergency medical tech. The story is good enough and kept my attention, though this is by no means a compelling read. I would give it a "3" if it weren't for the narrator who gave a very exaggerated New England accent to a primary female character and made her seem provincial, coarse and masculine. Adding this to the character's confrontational personality throughout much of the novel made her difficult to connect with.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful
I have read and listened to a lot of Anita Shreve but this one just fell flat. It lacked the gravity it thought it conveyed. It completely lacked emotion and was just blah. None of it resonates and while the narrator is very good there is just no depth here. Its simply trite. Skip it.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful