Dispatches from the Distancing – Days 78-79

Do you want to know how to make someone laugh? Ask them if they have any fun plans for the weekend.

Once again, another quiet weekend. The closest thing to excitement was Pat taking the big broom and “sweeping” paths though the kids’ rooms and making them clean up what was swept out. Honestly, I don’t see much improvement in Chris’s room, but Lillie’s room does look better. It’s not clean, but it’s now manageable that she can clean a section of it each day and have presentable room by next weekend.

And, as I said, the kids have been let loose on the neighborhood. Chris is still happier at home, but Lillie is out with her friends right now. While it is nice to see a trio of young girls playing outside, it is jarring to see them all wearing masks.

We did find out today that, in a few weeks, we may have a church service IN PERSON. Not in the church, but socially distanced in the garden with everyone wearing masks. We’ll also have a zoom hook up so it might be that our family is the only ones there, but at least it will be something.

This next week, Chris’s last of school, will be interesting so I will keep you all updated on that. In the meantime, here is my weekly reading recap.

As usual, I’m linking with Kathryn at Book Date and her It’s Monday…What Are you Reading? blog hop.

What I finished last week:

There There by Tommy Orange
This book gutted me.

I read a fair amount of Native American literature and I’m always on the lookout for new (or new to me) authors. In fact, this book had been on my radar for a while but when my book club selected it, I decided to wait to read it until right before our scheduled meeting.

I really enjoyed this book, although I had been warned that it was heartbreaking. And it was. We get to know several unique and fascinating characters throughout this book, all of whom have had to carry the burdens of their cultural history as well as the scars of their own lives. I never felt as though I was being pulled around as the book went from character to character.

Given the structure of this book (multi-narrator), I was surprised at how effectively it was paced. The book moves well and it keeps a strong forward direction from beginning to end. Frequently in books like this, there tends to be periods of idling as characters are introduced.

All in all, a very strong book from a very promising new voice.

The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen
When you read a lot of thrillers, your bar for a truly successful thriller rises with each book. So, if you have never read a thriller before, this book will probably knock your socks off. However, if you (like me) read a fair number of thrillers, this one will fall squarely in the middle of the field.

It’s not bad, but there isn’t much to differentiate it from other perfectly fine thrillers. To be fair, Hendricks and Pekkanen do take a few risks with the formula–namely, the twist doesn’t come when you expect it. But I also felt that the these attempts to play with the formula of a thriller actually hurt the story in that other parts of the novel didn’t quite hold up. This book did keep my attention, but there wasn’t much of an element of a surprise with it. I also felt that the payoffs for certain plot elements just weren’t worth it.

On the bright side, though, the pacing was almost always pretty strong here and, as I said, I kept turning the page. I also didn’t find much of it to be so outlandish that I couldn’t believe it, a kiss of death for many thrillers.

If you are looking for a thriller to pass the time, or a good entry thriller, this is a good one. But if you want something to completely rock your world, I would look elsewhere.

What I started this week:

The Knockout Queen by Rufi Thorpe
A number of book bloggers I follow have said this is their favorite book of the spring. So, you know, there is a bit of hype going on. I’m about 1/3 of the way through and so far it is readable and interesting, but something better happen soon for it to reach my top tier. Fortunately, it seems like a pretty quick read and Chris’s reading time (and, therefore, my reading time) will continue past his school year, so I hope to have it finished in the next few days.

I will say that even if this book doesn’t work for me, I’ll probably go back and read some of Thorpe’s earlier books. I am enjoying her writing style and I have heard plenty of good things about her earlier novels as well.

5 thoughts on “Dispatches from the Distancing – Days 78-79

  1. We have a new Church that was just opened on Saturday. It could only have 100 there as that’s all we are allowed at present for gatherings so it was by invitation only. So just the select few were there. I am sure when we are allowed to have bigger groups I’ll go. Enjoy your reading for the coming week.

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  2. I felt the same way about The Knockout Queen in the beginning- and it definitely goes somewhere. There, There was exceptional- the multi narrator thing usually leaves me bored and/or confused, but it worked so well in this case.

    As an aside- I assume Lillie is your daughter. I’m about to have a Lillie very soon- same spelling! 🙂

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  3. With most of the lockdown rules listed last weekend, my youngest so has been out with his friends all weekend. The rest continue to stay home though.
    The Knock Out Queen is new to me, I’ll have to look it up.

    Wishing you a great reading week

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  4. My church is planning to have in person services again starting June 14 but continue offering online services as well. They haven’t said what in person will look like yet. Work is also starting to talk about bringing people back. I’ve absolutely loved being home all the time so my feelings about reopening has little to do with the virus and more my desire never to leave my house. lol. See what I’ve been reading at Girl Who Reads

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