Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Before You Know Kindness

Before You Know Kindness , by Chris Bohjalian, was recommended to me a couple years ago by my librarian aunt. I take her word on good authority because she is surrounded by books all the livelong day. It is the story of two families, well, two siblings and their families within one family, the Setons and the Mcculloughs. The two granddaughters, Charlotte and Willow are spending the summer with their grandmother when their parents come for vacation. During this visit, Charlotte accidentally shoots her father Spencer, an animal loving, hunting hating vegan, with a rifle no one knows her uncle owned and he thought had a round stuck in the chamber. That was an awful start to a summary, sorry. This plot is pretty involved. What comes thereafter is a nasty family feud, lies, deceit, and lawsuits and potential marriage dissolution.

Before You Know Kindness is not a cheerful story but it was pretty riveting and I was pleased with the outcome. I wouldn’t call it a fast read by nature, and certainly not in page count, but I did finish it in a short amount of time because I couldn’t put it down. There was quite a bit of, in my opinion, unnecessary focus on why the bullet was lodged in the gun but I got through those parts okay. I realize that Bohjalian was trying to place a world of importance on this one piece but it got tedious. I give this one a thumbs up for sure. And it felt good to read something a bit heavier before my foray into the world of fluff and vampires…..dare I? I guess so!

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