The Tell by Hester Kaplan
2 of 5 stars
Owen and Mira’s marriage suffers when Wilton, an aging actor, moves in next door and exposes Mira to the world of gambling.
She sometimes overlooked the architecture’s Victorian haughtiness, and how it could make people wonder about their own ambition. Wonder about themselves.
This book started out with much promise — an ancient Victorian house full of history, a mysterious neighbor who once starred on a sit-com, and a teacher trying to make a difference in the lives of his disillusioned urban students. Some of the prose is incredibly poetic and takes a unique look at the mundane world around the characters through its descriptive metaphors.
Though the summary on the back of this book promises that it is “told with equal parts suspense, sympathy, and psychological complexity…” I unfortunately didn’t find enough of these elements within its pages to keep my interest. This is not a suspense novel, nor is it a psychological thriller — it’s simply a piece of realistic fiction that examines the risks that people take when trying to form connections and avoid isolation.
There tends to be a fine line between tragic stories and those that are just simply depressing, and this one seemed to fall mostly on the depressing side as Owen’s life spirals out of control. At one point, he comments about the literature he reads to his students: “What was it with these idiotic books and their endless pairing of tragedy and optimism? Were they somehow supposed to be inspiring?” Unfortunately, I found this to be an apt description of the novel itself.
Heads up: this book also contains a lot of sexual descriptions as the couple goes through the motions of their crumbling marriage
Overall: An “endless pairing of tragedy and optimism” that’s “somehow supposed to be inspiring.”
See what other bloggers think of this book!
Check out the other blogs on tour:
Jan 8 – Good Girl Gone Redneck calls it ” a story of intrigue, connections, relationships, memories, history and more.”
Jan 15 – Savvy Verse & Wit calls it “psychologically complex”
Jan 16 – Tiffany’s Bookshelf says she “did really enjoy the book, and I think a lot of fans of modern literary novels will enjoy it as well”
Jan 17 – Books in the City says “the psychology of the characters is interesting and how that dictates their interactions with each other is fascinating.”
Jan 21 – Between the Covers
Jan 23 – Speaking of Books
Jan 28 – Jenn’s Bookshelves
Jan 29 – Kritters Ramblings
Jan 30 – Bibliophiliac