Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Fragile by Lisa Unger

I'm quite proud of myself for already finishing my book club book this month!

Click on book for synopsis

 I didn't LOVE it as much as I did last month's book, Winter Garden.  In fact, I didn't LOVE it at all.  I did LIKE it, though.  I kind of had a tiny bit of a preconception about it because my friend, Christine, had already read the book the last time that we met for book club and she had said that she felt it was just "ok" and that there were a few too many characters.  I couldn't agree more.

Here are my problems with the book:

     1) There are too many characters.  There are 20 I can count off the top of my head that you have to connect to each other.  (Wait, 22...I just thought of 2 more!)  They do all connect, which is an accomplishment, but it gets confusing when you combine it with my 2nd major problem with this book.

     2)  I had a really tough time with the way this book flowed from one story line (in the present) to another one (in the past).  Essentially, there are 2 girls who go missing - one in the 80s and one in the present.  Both stories are played out at the same time in the book.  Often in the same chapter, with little or no warning, the author only uses a new paragraph to make the transition from present to past.  I've read a few books in the past year that deal with "flashbacks" and have found it much easier when chapters are set entirely in the present or entirely in the past.

     3) If you put these two things together - it gets really hairy.  In fact, there were a few times where the author would talk about one character in a paragraph and then talk about the same character in the next paragraph but be talking about them 20+ years earlier.  Ugh. I had to reread quite a few paragraphs when I realized we had switched from present just so I could get my mind in the right story line.


Lisa Unger - Author of Fragile
The book wasn't all bad, though.  Here are a few of the things I did like about it:

     1) I thought the connections between the people were very interesting.  I thought she really did show how everyone knows everyone in a small town.  I liked that every relationship had a little past and something to complicate it and make it interesting.

     2) The plot was pretty good.  At the very least, I had to finish the book.  There were a few times when I really thought I would put it down, but by the time I got to the middle of it, I knew that I would have to find out what happened in both stories.  I wasn't overly disappointed, either.  I actually liked the ending better than most of the book.

So - simply put, I would probably not recommend this book to someone unless they really liked mystery books.  I think there are better books out there to read if you are just looking for a good book.