Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Acts of Love by Emily Listfield

I think I have found a new author to love and I feel like I may have to run out the library right away and glom Ms. Listfield's backlist. Acts of Love was a beautifully written story, one that I immediately thought about when I woke up, anxious to get back to it. I give Acts of Love an A-.

Inside cover:
In a suburb near Albany, New York, Ted and Ann Waring are waiting for their divorce papers. They are also flirting with reconciliation- especially Ted- until, back from a hunting trip with their two adolescent daughters, he loses his temper one last time.
Was Ann's death an accident, or was it murder? Thirteen-year-old Julia- already in trouble before her mother's death- testifies against her father, setting in motion a struggle that pits family, friends, and townspeople against one another and exposes the interlocking compulsions of husband and wife, parent and child, sister and sister. As the many layers of truth about the killing unfold in the courtroom and in the characters' lives, Emily Listfield's lean and potent prose reveals the ways in which the emotions and evasions of the past reverberate uncontrallably in the present. Here is a chilling drama of suspense and passion from an astute and elegant writer.

I love the way that Ms. Listfield tells Acts of Loves, starting with the present, and then alternating back and forth from the past, going as far back as when Ann and Sandy were still children. We learn a lot of secrets about everyone throughout the story, and though at times I was thinking "what does this have to do with the story?" it all soon came together. None of the characters are exactly likeable, but it just goes to show how real they seem to be and really come to life on the pages. I could really relate to a lot of the things Ms. Listfield writes about in marriage, and one particluar point sticks in my mind. When talking with her sister, she says she can't stand the noise her husband makes while eating a grapefruit and how sometimes she dreams of slamming the grapefruit in her husbands face. As my husband has been working less, and we have been spending more time together, little things like that do grate on my nerves, especially when he eats cereal. It just made me chuckle and shows how well Ms. Listfield writes about real life. I highly recommend her books to you if you haven't tried one of them before.

Up next is my last library book, Relentless by Dean Koontz. I have heard a lot of good things about it, so I hope it proves to be a good one as it will be my first Koontz book. I am looking forward to reading some of my own books, but now I really want to read some more by Ms. Listfield. Maybe I will read a few of my own, and then one of Ms. Listfield. I really want to read Waiting to Surface, which is loosly based on something that happened in the author's own life. Well, I am off... I would love to sneak in a few chapters of Relentless before bed! Happy Reading!


Emily said...

Thanks so much for your nice review.
I love hearing from readers!

Kristie said...

Thank you for commenting. Please keep writing... I love your voice!

Jennifer said...

This book has been in my TBR for a while!! I keep hearing wonderful things about it, so I really want to read it soon!! Thanks for the great review! :)

Kristie said...

Thanks for commenting Jennifer. I really do love her books. They are so good and you won't be disppointed.

Literary Feline said...

This one is on my wish list. I've heard great things about Emily Listfield's books. I can't wait to try her for myself. Thanks for the great review, Kristie!