Monday, October 19, 2009

Little Bird of Heaven - So Far

I seldom post about a book before I finish it but I have to say how much I'm enjoying the new Joyce Carol Oates novel, Little Bird of Heaven. I started it on Saturday morning and read about sixty percent of the book over the weekend. It's a deceptively "thin" little volume and I didn't realize that it was 442 pages long before I got well into it. I wish other "chunksters" would use the same paper that is used in this one because I could get a lot more books on my shelves that way.

Little Bird of Heaven is the story of a brutal murder and it is told from two distinct points-of-view. The first part is narrated by the daughter of the man who is suspected of the murder, and the second part by the young man whose mother was killed. It slips back and forth into scenes before the murder and after the murder and, piece by piece, a detailed story becomes clear. The second part of the book, which I am only about 60 pages into, so far has not revisited any exact scenes from the first part but it hits all around those scenes.

It is the intricate plotting of the book that really intrigues me. I enjoy working puzzles and that's what reading Little Bird of Heaven is like. I've seen comments on Amazon that this is a boring book - and maybe it is for readers who have to have lots of action in their novels. Those who enjoy character studies, however, are going to love this book as much as I already do (although I am beginning to suspect that the murderer will not be identified at all).

10 comments:

  1. This sounds like a book I would love...and Joyce Carol Oates seems like just the author to pull it off. Thanks for the great review!

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  2. Sam, would you compare the style of this to any of her other books?

    I have really like some of her books and others I cannot even stand the thought of reading.

    One of her most recent books was about a child figure skater and it was so inaccurate that it was laughable. I could not even finish it.

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  3. I usually post about books while I'm reading them. I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one! This book, though it seems quite chilling, sounds like a great read. Thanks for the review! Can't wait to hear what you think once you've finished.

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  4. I'm almost done with the book, Wendy, and it has held up well right to the end...still don't know if I'll find out who killed the boy's mother, though. :-)

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  5. JoAnn, in style, I would say that this one is a little like "We Were the Mulvaneys" or "You Must Remember This." It is a little more straightforward than some of her books.

    Was that skater book a children's book? I don't remember that one?

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  6. Rosemary, if it finishes as strongly as it seems to be finishing, I will have thoroughly enjoyed it. I'm anxious to see if the killer is named in the 38 pages I still have to read.

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  7. Sam, the book is called "My Sister, My Love", and no, it is not a children's book

    http://www.amazon.com/My-Sister-Love-Intimate-Rampike/dp/0061547492/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1256177899&sr=1-1

    How do you put a link into a comment?

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  8. I thought "We Were the Mulvaneys" was an amazing book.

    J

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  9. Thanks for the information on that book, JoAnn. I missed it somehow but it doesn't sound as if I need to worry much about finding it right now.

    As for linking inside a comment, I don't have a clue. Blogger software is both tricky and limited and it takes a lot of trial and error for me to do even as much as I do with it.

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  10. I agree with you on the "Mulvaneys" book. That's one of my favorites of hers.

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