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review 2017-12-06 03:05
The Done Thing
The Done Thing: A Novel - Tracy Manaster

By:  Tracy Manaster 

ISBN: 9781507204894

Publisher: Gallery Books 

Publication Date:  12/5/2017 

Format: Paperback 

My Rating:  3 Stars 

 

A violent crime from years ago becomes front and center for Tracy Manaster’s characters in THE DONE THING – a tragic event changes the course of lives and nothing will ever be the same. How far will one woman go?

Highly-charged, emotional, and frustrating at times. From obsession, hatred, and revenge to an attempt at forgiveness and acceptance. One life-altering event catapults a family into turmoil, revealing secrets and feeling that may leave them fractured forever.

For eighteen years and four appeals, Lida had waited. Each April she had petitioned. She despised the man, Clarence who had been responsible for putting her sister, Barbra in the ground. Clarence was the husband of Barbra and father of Pamela. 

Barbra had left her daughter Pamela behind. Lida had raised Pam. Childless, she and Frank could not have children, and about the time their adoption came through, they had Pam to raise. Before they took custody he girl had spent exactly one weekend in her care. 

Prior to her retirement at sixty, Lida was a successful orthodontist. Now Frank was gone, dead . . . and Pam was grown with a life of her own. Married and expecting. 

Lida now has more time on her hands to obsess and scheme. She is bitter. She is angry. She wants Clarence to die. To suffer. “Clarence lingered, unshakable as the phantom weight a watch leaves on a naked wrist.”

She knew that once he died she could find new thoughts. She would love to serve him his last meal. 

Barbra’s lover. Lawrence Richard Ring. Next Barbra fell, split apart by four bullets. Clarence had picked up Pamela and lied about a dentist appointment. Pamela was in the car. Clarence had been granted three letters to Pamela a year. 

Presently, Lida has turned sixty-three and Pamela has purchased her a new computer. She comes up with a plan. She wants revenge. She discovers Clarence Lusk. Be a Penfriend. It’s the Write Thing. Be a Candle to Those in Darkness. 

The Prison in Arizona. Inmate 58344. He wants a pen pal. She would change her name and set up a post office. She would be Maisie. Lida crosses a line and begins to write to Clarence. Pretending to be a flirty twenty-three-year-old, in an effort to attain retribution.

Will Clarence open up to her if he thinks she is someone else? Or will he be smart enough to catch her deception? Will she lose control of the situation?

What is Pam thinking or feeling? Does Lida consider her actionsLida thinks she is always rushing to get married, hoping the baby would be born—before the needle. The death of her father. 

The author captures every evil thought of this angry, manipulative, and lonely woman. The strained relationship between aunt and niece. Lida is so consumed by revenge has she forgotten the family in front of her. She dwells on everything bad in her life and chooses to believe this one man is at fault and to blame. 

The letters between Clarence and Lida delve deep into the human emotions, and how deep the scars run after a tragedy that will forever change lives. How after years it begins to consume her. 

Scene (Chapter 35) was well done and quite comical. The phone call and banter between the two. The claws come out. 

The description summary from the publisher was right on – fans of Elizabeth Strout’s, Olive Kitteridge — complex; quite similar to the heavy mood of darkness, pain, and gloom. The internal war waging within. Human imperfections and family dynamics. Learning to let go and free oneself of anger. 

However, the writing is well-crafted as the author explores the complex minds of humans in the midst of tragedy and the overwhelming need for justice. The consequences of this obsession are at the heart of THE DONE THING. 

After reading three books in a row back to back, The Last Suppers(also death row), What Remains True ( the aftermath of a boy dying), and now THE DONE THING. Something a bit lighter with humor is in order. 

All three family dramas are well-written books which teeter on literary fiction; however, they are deep, dark, and sad. This is the type of book you may want to mix in among a few upbeat ones.

A special thank you to Gallery Books and NetGalley for an advanced reading copy. 

JDCMustReadBooks

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2017/10/08/The-Done-Thing
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review 2017-07-12 18:14
The Party by Robyn Harding
The Party: A Novel - Robyn Harding

I was lured into requesting this book from Netgalley when I received an email that promised me many juicy secrets and perfect people who behave very badly. I admit that I am a sucker for that kind of thing. 

This is a great book to pick up if you don’t want anything too heavy, too emotional or basically anything that’ll strain the brain. It makes for a good mindless “beach book” which to me means I can drop it in the sand, get salt water all over it and even crack the spine (ahhhh!) because I’ll be leaving it behind for someone else when I’m done without feeling sad about the torture I’ve put it through. The material flirts with darkness and there is even a throwback “Heathers” moment but it never gets too deep and, for me, that was a great big problem. 

So here’s the jist. Heather, uh, Hannah is turning sweet 16 and she invites her two childhood friends and two newer, cooler friends to her party.



She worries that her new friends will find her terribly uncool once they realize her mother is a controlling witch who won’t let them drink, do drugs or play with boys. Ummm, she could’ve avoided all of this angst by not inviting them in the first place but then we wouldn’t have ourselves a book now, would we? As you can suspect, the teens get up to naughtiness after mom goes to bed with a sleeping pill and some wine. Dad sneaks down and gives them a little present and soon after a very bad accident occurs that will ruin one forever and the others temporarily.



All of this setup was enjoyable and had me turning the pages awaiting some great and nasty reveals in the wake of this “event” but it never truly panned out. This accident spawns a series of Lifetime tv movie-like events that were dramatic but in the scheme of things a little too “meh” for my liking. Too much of the book gets hung up on boring lawsuit talk and selfish characters boo-hooing about the meanness of humankind whilst they ponder their navels and act like jerks.



I found myself losing interest in all of the characters somewhere after the halfway mark but especially Hannah who only cared about being the Queen Bee, even when she saw her “friends” being complete deplorables. To hell with being a decent person, popularity is far more important. 



If you’re in the mood for something that is more surface than substance and can stomach a cast filled with humorless unlikable people, you may love this book but it wasn’t meant for me. I need my darkness dark and emotional and The Party didn’t deliver that for me. Honestly, if I want to entertain myself with evil teenagers, I’d rather just rewatch Heathers.

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review 2017-06-30 18:09
Review: "Tart and Sweet" (Candy Man, #4) by Amy Lane
Tart and Sweet - Amy Lane

 

~ 3 stars ~

 

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review 2017-06-28 18:21
Review: "Lollipop" (Candy Man, #3) by Amy Lane
Lollipop - Amy Lane

 

~ 3.5 stars ~

 

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review 2017-06-25 20:02
Review: "Bitter Taffy" (Candy Man, #2) by Amy Lane
Bitter Taffy - Amy Lane

 

~ 3.5 stars ~

 

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