Review: The Returned by Jason Mott

azure_53760c7c64fcfbc23bbc09a44775e701This is a very slowly paced book. With that said, I liked it a lot.

The characters were just wonderful and three-dimensional, we get a lovely old couple who have lost their only child in a tragic accident, only to have their son returned to them in their golden years, as if he had never left. The revealing of just how this return affected the two of them differently is just perfect. I loved, loved Harold and how much this experience changed him.

Bellamy and his little side story was also a nice touch, with his mother, and the preacher with his first love. It was a good way of showing the different kind of experiences that people would have.

I also found the idea of keeping the dead in prisons very realistic and very likely what would have happened, and I was pleased to see it explored as much as it was.

The ending was a little heartbreaking, though.

★★★★☆

this review was originally posted on my Booklikes.

Review: Rape: A Love Story by Joyce Carol Oates

rapealovestoryHow does one rate a book like this? Because its terrifying, horrifying and all to real. This is the nightmare that all of us women have together.

It was a good book, I think in that it shows that society can really be crueler than you think. Two of the rapists were brothers and even their father thought they had raped Teena, yet he hires a lawyer to get them off with no punishment. No one will even talk to Bethie at school and call her a liar for telling what happened to her mother. Essentially, the whole town, the whole justice system, turns against them and to me, this was the most well done part of the book. The hatred and dismissal of the town people and a justice system that doesn’t care about truth really highlights why people often don’t report their rape–they’re afraid of exactly this.

I didn’t like that their rescue came in the form of a man who murders for them though. It’s my opinion that this softens the message, plus gives no hope for the rest of us. We can’t all go around killing people all the time. This becomes the relief for Teena and Bethie, and I didn’t really see any sort of emotional journey that they went through, just “they’re dead so now we’re safe and continue our lives.”

I also didn’t find it as engaging as I would have liked. It took me a really long time to read this tiny book.

★★★☆☆