I think Good Reads is a great site for many reasons; one of which is that it lets me know when authors I have read (and enjoyed) are releasing a new book. I purchased Ms. Moriarty’s latest tome (seriously, it’s over 400 pages and has pretty small print) on Tuesday after receiving such an alert, started it Wednesday, and stayed up way too late finishing it last night. Badkittyuno’s review provides the plot detail, so I won’t go into that too much.
I enjoy Ms. Moriarty’s books a lot. She has, for the most part, a formula (I say most part because I *think* What Alice Forgot strayed from it a bit). There are three or more parties. A Thing Has Happened, but we don’t know what, so we go back and forth in time. And there are twists, and you probably won’t figure them out, but they are never (at least in the four books of Ms. Moriarty’s that I have read) absurd. If you were to reread the books with all the information, they still make sense. It’s awesome.
The only reason I’m not giving this book five stars is because I really feel that it could have been shorter up front. It took way longer – or at least it FELT way longer – to get into. I still enjoyed the first hundred pages or so, but my goodness, every chapter felt like it ended with some variation on the “everything changed after that day” sentence. Like, I get it. Everything DID change. But my goodness, please show, don’t tell. It felt a bit like when Ryan Seacrest would say “and the winner … will be revealed right after the break.” Except you’d come from break, and he’d immediately do it again. And again. For like 15 minutes.
That said, for me this is still a four-star book, and one that I would recommend to anyone interested in a fun, clever read. I really appreciated the dynamics around how friends with children interact with friends who don’t have children – the mutual judgement, the lack of understanding of each other’s lives. I think Ms. Moriarty captured a lot of that quite well.