Being a stay-at-home mom in a town where you don’t know anyone can be tough. We’ve been in our house for seven years now, and this is the year where I’ve really started to make friends and find like-minded people that I enjoy spending time with. It took a while, but it was worth it. And now I’m invited to join a new book club with all of these wonderful friends. Exciting, right?
Well, I was excited. Until I read the book that was chosen for this week’s meeting.
My god. This might just be the worst book I’ve read in my seven years of cannonballing. Does it make me like these new friends a little bit less? No, not really. But it makes me wonder about this book club, for sure.
Here’s the good:
This was an original, interesting premise. Splitting time between the late-1970s and the late 1990s in Cleveland, this is the story of a bunch of greedy bankers who forced the city to default on its loans (which actually happened in 1978) and did a lot of other, horrible, greedy things in the process. I was interested in how safe deposit box robberies like the ones described in the book could happen. And I liked the fact that the author was an engineer who decided to become a writer, and self-published this book on Amazon, going on to win some sort of award or something. Good on her to go chasing after her dream. I certainly couldn’t do it, so I’m all for anyone who has a goal and actually achieves it.
Also, it was free on Kindle.
Here’s the bad:
Literally everything else.
The dialogue was terrible.
The characters were one dimensional and totally unlikable.
The book was easily 30% too long.
Other than the details of how the safe deposit boxes were being robbed and how the city of Cleveland had tunnels that ran between the downtown buildings, I honestly didn’t care about a single thing that was happening here.
Our “heroine” in 1998 was Iris, a miserable, alcoholic, asshole. I think I was supposed to feel badly for her and the situation she was in. But really, she was terrible. If I could have reached into my Kindle and shaken her into unconsciousness, I would have. She deserved it. Every horrible and ridiculous thing that happened to her was HER. OWN. DAMN. FAULT. She was a completely dysfunctional human and I couldn’t stand her.
Meanwhile, our two heroines in the 1978 part of the story were no better. Beatrice was an idiot, and her Chinatown subplot was a surprise to nobody but her. And Maxine was worse. She was a manipulative bitch and I cared zero about her future.
But these girls brought down the bad guys all by themselves!
And I don’t care!
I’m not a non-fiction person, but I guess I would have been better served if I had gotten a Cleveland history book and read that instead. I spent a few minutes reading a Wikipedia entry about Dennis Kucinich when he was Mayor of Cleveland in the 1970s and the city went bankrupt, that was much more entertaining.
I’m not sure how this week’s book club is going to go. I hope I’m not the only one who hated this book. And I hope there will be copious amounts of alcohol. I might not make it through otherwise.