Mrs. Fletcher by Tom Perrotta
(Scribner, 2017, 309 pages)
I wasn’t blown away but it was an entertaining read.
Here’s the blurb from Amazon:
Eve Fletcher is trying to figure out what comes next. A forty-six-year-old divorcee whose beloved only child has just left for college, Eve is struggling to adjust to her empty nest when one night her phone lights up with a text message. Sent from an anonymous number, the mysterious sender tells Eve, “U R my MILF!” Over the months that follow, that message comes to obsess Eve. While leading her all-too-placid life—serving as Executive Director of the local senior center by day and taking a community college course on Gender and Society at night—Eve can’t curtail her own interest in a porn website called MILFateria.com, which features the erotic exploits of ordinary, middle-aged women like herself. Before long, Eve’s online fixations begin to spill over into real life, revealing new romantic possibilities that threaten to upend her quiet suburban existence.
Middlemarch: A Study of Provincial Life by George Eliot
(Penguin Classics, 2011, 880 pages)
After multiple attempts and months of stopping and starting I have finally finished Middlemarch. I’m sure that doesn’t make it sound appealing but truthfully I loved every minute of it and it really speaks more to my flaws than to the novel’s appeal. After finishing Middlemarch I read a New Yorker article “Middlemarch And Me What George Eliot teaches us” by Rebecca Mead and decided that instead of giving a plot summary I would just include a quote from the article that I think speaks to what I found most interesting; the novel is sometimes biting and satirical but never at the total expense of the characters:
But Eliot’s satire, unlike Austen’s, stops short of cruelty. She is inveterately magnanimous, even when it comes to her most flawed characters; her default authorial position is one of pity. Rosamond Vincy is foolish and intractable—her husband refers to her in his later years as his basil plant, because it was “a plant that had flourished wonderfully on a murdered man’s brains.” But the sequence of chapters in which self-involved, trivial Rosamond realizes that Will Ladislaw is in love with Dorothea, not her—she is “taken hold of by an emotion stronger than her own, hurried along in a new movement which gave all things some new, awful, undefined aspect”—is a masterpiece of sympathetic imagination. A reader marvels at Jane Austen’s cleverness, but is astonished by George Eliot’s intelligence.
Commonwealth by Ann Patchett
(Harper, 2016, 322 pages)
Family dynamics, parental failure, forgiveness
Six Four by Hideo Yokoyama; translated by Jonathan Lloyd-Davies
(Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2017, 576 pages)
Japanese crime novel, twisty, suspenseful
The Rocks by Peter Nichols
(Riverhead Books, 2015, 432 pages)
Mallorca, secrets, sun, sea, odyssey
Bellweather Rhapsody by Kate Racculia
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014, 340 pages)
Murder, band geeks, haunted hotel
Possession by A. S. Byatt
(Vintage Books, 2001, 555 pages)
Historiographic metafiction, Victorian desire, academia
Towards Zero by Agatha Christie
(Dodd/Mead, 1986, 242 pages)
Audio, lesser-known Christie, superb
Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie
(Dodd/Mead, 1985, 340 pages)
Poirot mystery at its best.
Darkest Secret by Alex Marwood
(Penguin Books, 2016, 390 pages)
Family secrets; disturbing characters; formulaic