Tuesday, September 03, 2013

The Book of Someday by Dianne Dixon

The Book of Someday by Dianne Dixon
Copyright 2013
Sourcebooks Landmark - Fiction
340 pp., incl. Reading Group Guide

First sentence Paragraph:

Her father. Shouting her name.  "Olivia!" His footsteps falling loud and heavy on the wood of the floor.

Summarize the plot without giving away the ending:

Livvi is having an affair with the first man who has ever made her feel truly special.  In her twenties but a deeply wounded by childhood abuse and naive due to her homebound education, she finds it difficult to break away when she discovers her lover's secrets and develops an attachment to someone who reminds her of herself as a child.

AnnaLee's husband is both a doctor and a lawyer but he can't seem to find his place in the working world and limits his hours. Frustrated by her husband's inability to provide for the family, AnnaLee is slowly selling off valuables from the home she inherited. Then, summer arrives and brings with it a refugee from distant and wealthy parents. As AnnaLee tries to break through to the girl who calls herself Persephone, will Persephone's desperate attempts at friendship end in disaster?

Micah has cancer.  To determine whether or not it's even possible to atone for the sins of her past, she goes on a journey, seeking out the individuals she's hurt and hoping they can help her decide whether to live or die.

Capsule Description:

The Book of Someday is the story of three women with interconnecting lives.  The key to their interconnection is a painting/photograph/nightmare of the same thing -- a woman in a silver dress and pearl-button shoes.  One of the stories is told from the 1980s, the other two in 2012.  

What did you like best about The Book of Someday?

Could. Not. Put. Down.

It takes a very long time to get to the point that the connection is explained and I figured it out before the author got to the point of the big reveal, even as she was still hiding little bits of the tragedy that connected their lives.  I didn't mind that I figured out the mystery portion because I was enjoying the book so much.  I loved the fact that I found the book so gripping I actually fell asleep reading (the book falling, fwop, onto my chest woke me up) and turned the light out with deep regret then awoke at 5AM dying to keep reading.  I adore that kind of read.

What did you dislike about The Book of Someday?

There were only 2 things that kept The Book of Someday from being a 5-star read.  One was the constant use of sentence fragments.  I understand using them for impact but they were used All. The. Time. For no good reason.  Sometimes I had to visualize lower-case and correct punctuation to figure out the meaning of a paragraph that genuinely should have been written as a single sentence.

The other problem was the ambiguous ending. I couldn't discern whether the author was telling me Livvi was planning to end up with one guy or the other and I wanted that clearly spelled out.  I don't mind an open ending but this one was just confusing to me.  I reread it several times and then dashed off to read other reviews.  Most readers were not bothered by the ending.  I just found it perplexing and decided to create my own ending, mentally. Still, very solid storytelling with just enough held back to keep the suspense going.

Other notes:  

There is a lot of lightly graphic sex in the book (Livvi and her lover), which probably accounts for the comments other reviewers have made about the book reading "like a Harlequin".  I didn't get that "Harlequin" sensation at all, in spite of all of those scenes. I was too busy being swept away by the storyline and trying to puzzle out the interconnection to be bothered, although I'm not a fan of graphic sex scenes.

Highly recommended - One of the most unputdownable books I've read in a while.  Although I gave it a 4/5 rating at Goodreads, The Book of Someday really deserves a 4.5/5 for the mere fact that I couldn't put it down till it literally fell out of my hands . . . and then I was so anxious to start reading that I woke up early and didn't put the book down till I finished.  In spite of the fact that there's some graphic sex and that's something I don't enjoy, I thought the sexual relationship was crucial to explaining Livvi as a character so it just fell into the background for me.

I received an ARC of The Book of Someday from Sourcebooks in return for an unbiased review.

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  1. Wow, does this sound like an amazing read! It's been on my radar for a while now but your review makes me want to get my hands on it right now!

    1. It was definitely my favorite read in August, Melissa!


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