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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Adult Book Club titles Wild, Cheryl Strayed and Gone Girl, Gilian Flynn

From the Publisher:
A Best Nonfiction Book of 2012: The Boston GlobeEntertainment WeeklyA Best Book of the Year: NPR, St. Louis Dispatch, Vogue

At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother’s death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life. With no experience or training, driven only by blind will, she would hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State—and she would do it alone. Told with suspense and style, sparkling with warmth and humor, Wild powerfully captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her.

Strengths: An utterly compelling story of a woman who was clearly struggling and managed to overcome some serious obstacles in life. I really enjoyed the story in this book. This was probably the best book club discussion we've had in our five or so years of meeting. It was fantastic.

Weaknesses: I wanted to bat her over the head many times during the reading for being such a ding-dong (again, that's me judging the character, not really the book). The writing was not particularly strong, but the storyline overcame it.

From the Publisher:
Marriage can be a real killer.
One of the most critically acclaimed suspense writers of our time, New York Times bestseller Gillian Flynn takes that statement to its darkest place in this unputdownable masterpiece about a marriage gone terribly, terribly wrong. The Chicago Tribuneproclaimed that her work “draws you in and keeps you reading with the force of a pure but nasty addiction.” Gone Girl’s toxic mix of sharp-edged wit and deliciously chilling prose creates a nerve-fraying thriller that confounds you at every turn.
On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy's diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?
As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn’t do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?
With her razor-sharp writing and trademark psychological insight, Gillian Flynn delivers a fast-paced, devilishly dark, and ingeniously plotted thriller that confirms her status as one of the hottest writers around.

Strengths: I repeatedly had no idea what was coming in this book and definitely was drawn into the story. Made a great book club discussion book!

Weaknesses: By the end, it had all become too unbelievable.  My suspension of disbelief snapped about 3/4 of the way in.  I still finished it, but I was over it.

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