Book Corner

Story Sentence: An Unfinished Story

After locking up, Claire climbed into her convertible and drove north, back toward the Don CeSar hotel. David’s novel rode shotgun. 

Story blurb:

A grieving widow and a disenchanted writer form an unexpected bond in a novel about second chances and finding the courage to let go of the past.

It’s been three years since Claire Kite lost her husband, David, an aspiring novelist, in a tragic car accident. Claire finally finds the courage to move on; then she discovers among the remnants of her shattered world her husband’s last manuscript. It’s intimate, stirring—and unfinished. An idea comes to her…What if she can find someone to give David’s novel the ending it deserves?

Whitaker Grant is famous for his one and only bestselling novel—a masterpiece that became a hit film. But after being crippled by the pressure of success and his failed marriage, Whitaker retreated from the public eye in his native St. Petersburg, Florida. Years later, he’s struggling through a deep midlife crisis. Until he receives an intriguing request from a lonely widow. To honor David’s story, Whitaker must understand, heart and soul, the man who wrote it and the woman he left behind.

There’s more to the novel than anyone dreamed. Something personal. Something true. Maybe, in bringing a chapter of David’s life to a close, Claire and Whitaker can find hope for a new beginning.

These two sentences are from chapter three of “An Unfinished Story” by Boo Walker. (First of all, LOVE the author name). 

So, the premise of this reminds me of Verity by Colleen Hoover. Which I liked. Actually, I loved it. I know that book had mixed reviews. But I enjoy the premise of another writer finishing what someone else started. 

This story so far is sad and I hope to God to never experience what this character is going through losing the love her life, (because when we die, Kevin and I will die together – how is that for macabre?) and I’m sure it’s heartbreaking but all of the sadness … I just find myself getting impatient. Okay, we get it, you’re sad. Let’s move on to happier times. 

The story begins with David, Claire’s husband, leaving the house with the promise that he will bring someone to dinner that night. He won’t tell her who it is and he dies without her knowing who it was. So there is that element of mystery. I’m at the part in the story where she is selling their house and she is forced to finally go into David’s study to start clearing it out. David is a writer, or was a writer, he was getting back into it when he died, and he was working on a manuscript that he didn’t want Claire to read until he was finished. 

So now, she has the manuscript but she hasn’t had a chance to read it yet. 

I’m hoping the manuscript has some mystery character, maybe the character that he was going to bring to dinner, or some sort of information that will cause Claire to question whether she knew David or not. 

I’m guessing, by the blurb, that it’s not going to have anything like that and will just be a story where she finds a handsome writer to finish her husband’s story and she ends up falling in love with him, thereby moving on with her life. 

That wouldn’t be a bad story, but I’m hoping for something a bit more dramatic. 

At any rate, my thoughts on this book so far: Meh.

Book Corner

Story Sentence: The Arrangement

I now have two sugar daddies (SD) and I’ve learned loads in the past fortnight.

This is the first sentence from chapter 24 from “The Arrangement” by Miranda Rijks

Blurb:

Abi had a secret life. That’s why she had to die.

Grace is living through every mother’s worst nightmare. Her student daughter Abi went away on a dream vacation – and was murdered.

Overwhelmed by grief, and fighting off old demons which have resurfaced, Grace tries to make sense of it – who would want to kill her beautiful girl?

But as she learns more about Abi’s life, she realises she didn’t know her own daughter very well. How did Abi acquire all those designer clothes? And what was she doing on those mysterious trips to the city?

Grace desperately needs to find answers. But soon it becomes clear that someone doesn’t want her digging into Abi’s secret past. Someone who knows how to use Grace’s own weaknesses against her, sending her on a journey to the darkest hell…

My thoughts so far:

This is a classic example of making a character’s life a living hell. Rijks throws everything but the kitchen sink at poor Grace to the point I’m yelling at my Kindle, “Oh come ON.” But here’s the thing, I can SEE every horrible thing happening to Grace actually happen to a terribly unlucky person in real life. This character can NOT catch a break.

The story opens with Abi, on holiday in South Africa, excited to meet a mysterious person. Only, she’s being followed and her mysterious person changes the location from a cafe to a deserted beach. Obviously, the person following her is the person she hopes to meet up with. The chapter ends with that mysterious person stabbing, and killing, Abi.

Grace is a divorced mom of two. Abi is her oldest daughter. She’s a hair stylist just trying to make ends meet. She’s also a struggling alcoholic. When she finds out Abi has died and her local police really can’t  help her since her daughter died on foreign soil she gets lost in her grief and obsessed with trying to find out why Abi was killed.  She stumbles into a few secrets and Grace is left wondering if she really knew anything at all about her daughter.

To top it off, the more she discovers, the more someone doesn’t want her to find out the truth. And because she started drinking again, her friends and the authorities think what is happening to her is a figment of her alcoholic brain and don’t believe her. I won’t spoil it for anyone who wants to read it, but suffice it to say, Rijks really makes Grace suffer. I’m currently at the lowest of the low for Grace and I’m wondering how she is going to pull herself out of this.

I also have a pretty good idea who the killer is.

I’m about 69% done. It’s a pretty good read, if not a bit frustrating, but I admire the way Rijks tortures Grace.