Posts Tagged Harvard Book Store

September Boston-Area Book Readings of Note

 

lovely dark deep

Joyce Carol Oates

Lovely, Dark, Deep: stories

Brookline Booksmith

At Coolidge Corner Theatre

Thursday, September 11 at 6pm

miniaturist

Jessie Burton

The Miniaturist

Harvard Book Store

Thursday, September 11 at 7pm

bone clocks

David Mitchell

The Bone Clocks

Porter Square Books

Thursday, September 18 at 6:30pm

paying guests

Sarah Waters

The Paying Guests

Harvard Book Store at Brattle Theatre

Thursday, September 18 at 6pm

 

landline

Rainbow Rowell

Landline

Harvard Book Store at Brattle Theatre

Friday, September 19 at 6pm

liars wife

Mary Gordon

The Liar’s Wife

Porter Square Books

Monday, Sept 22 at 7pm

unspeakable things

Laurie Penny

Unspeakable Things: Sex, Lies and Revolution

Harvard Book Store

Friday, September 26 at 7pm

thirteen days

Lawrence Wright

Thirteen Days in September

Harvard Book Store at Brattle Theatre

Monday, September 29 at 6pm

life drawing

Robin Black

Life Drawing

Harvard Book Store

Tuesday, September 30 at 7pm

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book review: THE KEPT

the kept

THE KEPT by James Scott. Publisher: Harper (January 7, 2014). Suspense/Thriller. Hardcover. 368 pages. ISBN 9780062236739.

A mother, who works as a midwife, returns to find her youngest daughter shot dead in front of the family farmhouse. It’s winter in rural upstate New York during the 19th century. When Elspeth Howell enters her home she discovers four of her children and her husband, Jorah, murdered in cold blood. Her 12-year-old son, who lives out in the barn, had been hiding in the pantry and witnessed the massacre. He panicked and shot his mom and then must bury his family and help assist his mom to recovery so they can leave their home behind and go after the men who killed their family.

Elspeth’s withheld a secret from her family. She stole all her children from families while working as a midwife. Now she and Caleb return to Watersbridge, the place from which she took Caleb. Will they recognize Elspeth or a preteen Caleb in this village? I do like that Elspeth disguises herself as a man to work doing some ice excavation. She gets away with it although seems to develop a crush on a co-worker. These things happen. In the meantime, Caleb takes a position at a house of ill repute thinking he’s most likely to come across the despicable men who killed his family.

“The thought of divulging anything made Elspeth queasy. Her secrets threatened to burst her at the seams every day. The constant pressure had become such an accustomed part of her that to live without it, she thought would likely deflate her and she’d collapse to the ground like an empty burlap sack.”

There’s too much mystery and too little character development. Biblical references perplex me and make my eyes glaze over. [“The fact that Jorah had seemingly memorized the entire Bible and could call up passages at will for any problem or any occasion had frustrated Elspeth, but it was impossible to criticize.”] The writing also is very simplistic and provides little description and sense of place. Is this story going anywhere? Do I care? I don’t think that I do. And that’s a problem when I’m more than 100 pages in. Also main character is Elspeth and her son Caleb meets a girl named Ellabelle. Just didn’t care enough about any of the characters to finish the novel. I cannot recommend THE KEPT.

RATING: **/5

–review by Amy Steele

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for review from Harper Collins.

Upcoming Readings:

Tuesday, January 21, Boston, Mass.
Harvard Book Store at 7pm

Wednesday, January 29, Atlanta, GA
A Cappella Books at 6:30pm

Monday, February 3, Nashville, Tenn.
Parnassus Books at 6:30pm

Tuesday, February 11, South Hadley, Mass.
Odyssey Bookshop at 7pm

Thursday, February 13, Brookline, Mass.
Brookline Booksmith at 7pm

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