My TBR pile has taunted me this entire year. In my continuing attempt to remedy that, here is another 2019 Holiday exchange book review (Thanks Black Raven!) to close out the year.
When famous writer, Bill Sweeney, suddenly dies, his three daughters gather at their childhood home in a small Connecticut seaside town to prepare his wake and settle his estate. While grieving and dealing with their own personal issues, they discover that their father has been paid a hefty advance for a memoir that has gone missing. As a wee gambling problem has left Bill Sweeney’s “estate” in the hole, a lawsuit by the publisher for the missing memoir is not ideal. Add a fun little mail away DNA test that yields surprising results for the daughter of their former neighbor and you have yourself one dysfunctional clam bake.
This book was fine, but not really my cup of tea. The main characters and the setting were fairly stereotypical and it read more like a movie or television show than a novel. I’m not adverse to family dramas, even if I don’t particularly find the characters relatable or likable, but there are so many similar books out there that are just written better than this one. (Ann Patchett and Barbara Kingsolver come to mind.) There was also a tendency to name drop that I found to be distracting. I’m generally not a fan of referencing real life famous people in fiction unless it serves some kind of purpose. Here it was sprinkled around a bit too much to add a little glitter. It was a quick read and somewhat entertaining but, in the end, I felt pretty ambivalent about it.