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review 2016-05-23 01:06
Harvard Drama
Bradstreet Gate: A Novel - Robin Kirman

Bradstreet Gate by Robin Kirman was a nice change of character writing from the other books I have read recently. Each character allowed us to go back into past and navigate through their current situations without giving too much away or having a nice bow tied at the end. I know a lot of readers do not want a left open ending, but I for one do not mind being led to an open door of possibilities of what might have happened at the end.

 

Charlie, Georgia, and Alice meet at Harvard and all come from very different backgrounds.  Charlie strives to be like his favorite professor, Storrow, while Georgia, his secret crush, is sleeping with Storrow. The only issue is that Alice finds out all the juicy details on her own during a very important time their senior year when a fellow classmate is found dead. 

 

Kirman takes you through loops and swirls of their tainted relationships all the while the characters are trying to figure out who they are even 10 years since graduation. 

 

If you want a happy ending, don't read this book. Because it is left up to the imagination. But if you want a very well-written novel that has character profile's exquisitely thought out, then please read Bradstreet Gate

 

I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review.

 

 

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review 2015-10-09 01:18
Bradstreet Gate: A Novel - Robin Kirman

4 stars  #BradstreetGate  @crownpublishing  Robin Kirman

I liked this book. It was strange in many ways. The three characters that seemed to come together during their years at Harvard were not three characters that I would think would naturally meld together. Actually, they are not three characters I could see melding with anyone. And, then for them to still be in touch with each other ten years later is definitely strange.

The fact that the author does not come out and tell you who murdered Julia Patel is also a strange one. You can basically surmise who did it, but in your mind, are you sure?

This was definitely a strange book.

It got off to a slow start at the very beginning as Georgia was portrayed as just not a little ditzy, but a lot. But what you didn't know what that she just had a baby and her husband has cancer. Then the book takes you back to the college days when everyone is just meeting each other. I had to go back and read the beginning again myself as there were a couple of days that I didn't read it and couldn't remember how it started.

I basically enjoyed reading this book as it kept me interested as I think all three of the main characters were a little quirky and strange. The teacher was creepy and the way he just kept showing up at places was even creepier.

If your into creepy and kind of like a Twilight Zoneish kind of story, then this one is for you.

Huge thanks to Crown Publishing and Net Galley for a free e-galley in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2015-09-05 11:56
Bradstreet Gate - Something and then nothing...
Bradstreet Gate: A Novel - Robin Kirman
First of all Bradstreet Gate WILL suffer because of the insistence on the connection to The Secret History - I would strongly advise putting that comparison out of your mind before going into this one because for me, it just doesn't hold water. Its that thing that because this novel deals with a group dynamic within a University setting and there is a murder, that it must necessarily be Secret History like. It isn't. I don't think it's even TRYING to be. So there's that.

So Bradstreet Gate then, taken on it's own merits, for me was a pretty good story, beautifully written and follows along with a group of University students and their interpersonal relationships. Not only between themselves but with the wider community and specifically one particular Tutor who is later accused,but never charged, with murder.

I really enjoyed the novel but there are several issues. Storrow, as a man accused and as a character is a bit wishy washy so the whole part where everyone was fascinated by him fell flat. Despite my best efforts I could not find a reason why all these people were falling over themselves about him. He was annoying. And obviously egotistical to the point of being, well, just annoying.

Having said that the wider cast I found intriguing and I got very caught up in their stuff - especially the dynamic between Georgia and Charlie, and Alice on her own who, for me, literally kept the book on it's feet. Alice seems to be the one that the author has invested some real emotion into, she is troubled, sharp cornered and endlessly compelling. If the book had been about HER with all the rest circling around her rather than around the rather pale Storrow, this might have been a 5* read for me.

I found it addictive. I wanted to find out the resolution (yeah shame about that one really) and I wanted to mostly know where Alice would end up (better but still hmm not quite satisfied)

I didn't like the end. If you are going to write an ending like that you need to have engaged the reader beyond the point that they are reading solely to find OUT the ending - which I'm not sure the author achieved here. Yes sometimes you can pull off a non ending ending when the reader is then compelled to think things through, wonder, come back to it in their head. In the case of Bradstreet Gate, I read the end, shrugged and moved on.

So its a good read while you are in it. I love this kind of story, and for the record I'm not a HUGE fan of The Secret History or of Donna Tartt generally, way too wordy and rarely ends up actually getting anywhere for me - so in some ways I preferred this and would refer you to my first comments.

A fun, often intriguing, kills an afternoon mystery character drama. Give it a go. It's not over involved it's free flowing and a nice little read.

Happy Reading Folks!
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review 2015-07-23 20:09
Nicely written
Bradstreet Gate: A Novel - Robin Kirman

I'm not sure what it is that attracts me to books about murders committed at prestigious schools. I guess it's the concept that evil can be found even among the intelligence, structure and discipline found at these schools. This one particularly appealed to me as the one who was most suspected of having committed the crime was a highly admired professor. The crime occurs within the hallowed halls of Harvard.

 

This isn't a typical murder mystery and you won't find the plot neatly wrapped up. What you will find is an intelligent book about the effects of scandal on those involved. I thought the writer did a commendable job of drawing the reader into the lives of her characters. It's a compulsively readable book and I found it hard to put down. There were a few areas when the book reached the students' adult lives that moved somewhat slowly but I certainly never reached a point where I wanted to stop reading. I don't think the book quite stands up to the pre-release hype but this author is a talented one and I'm looking forward to seeing what her next book holds.

 

This book was given to me by Blogging for Books in return for an honest review.

 

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review 2015-07-21 00:00
Bradstreet Gate: A Novel
Bradstreet Gate: A Novel - Robin Kirman Bradstreet Gate was a difficult book to read. There was plenty of stuff happening, and the writing is excellent. The non-linear storytelling was nothing new, and this reading didn’t offer any new insights to the craft or of storytelling.

At times, the story seemed to drift aimlessly. The book really isn’t about the murder of Julie Patel, but a chronicling of several affluent Harvard graduates and how they deal with privilege and the many ways to squander their lives in only ten years.

The ending of the book left me wanting, and none of the many subplots were resolved. Now that I write about it, this entire book is all about various subplots.

Although the characters are well thought out, and implemented in a way that allows us to see them as real people, the story itself is uninteresting. Not enough for me to not finish, but enough for me to be glad the book has concluded.

I’d still give it three stars, as the characterization is worth the read. I received a copy from blogging for books in exchange for this review.
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