Sunday, November 29, 2009

A Little Not-So-Light Sunday Reading

A few weeks ago I checked out several books at the library. I read the first two very quickly, Chris Grabenstein's Hell for the Holidays—an entertainingly fast-paced mystery thriller, though a little dark—and another Nora Roberts (Angel's Fall this time). Then I started on Stewart O'Nan's Songs for the Missing. That was nearly two weeks ago.

The story takes place in a small Ohio town and revolves around the abduction of 18-year-old Kim Larsen. Kim is only present in the first few chapters, after that the story is all about how the other characters deal with the absence of their daughter/sister/best friend/girl friend.

The story itself is compelling and it's easy to identify with each of the characters as they confront and examine their relationships with the missing Kim. And I think that is exactly why it took me so long to read—it's too compelling. Too easy to identify with the characters. There is no lens to look through to distance yourself from the characters—I felt the worry and hope and helplessness and isolation and frustration and resignation of each character and frankly, it was exhausting.

Not exactly your curl-up-with-a-novel-and-a cup-of-cocoa warm fuzzy read. It definitely took an emotional toll, but it is a good book nonetheless. And still, I'm relieved to be moving on to a new book.

Dozer kept me company this afternoon while I was reading.

Next up, Natasha Mostert's Keeper of Light and Dust. Also in the bag waiting to be read, Salvation in Death and My Sister, My Love. Although, given the reaction I had to Songs for the Missing, I may need to skip that last one since it's based on the JonBenet Ramsey story. I'm thinking lighter themes may be the order of the day for me, at least for the time being.

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