dreamsetc-septbookclub

Hello, everyone! Happy Monday!

Thank you for patiently waiting a few extra days for this post to go up. I am really excited to discuss The Bookseller today and see what you thought of the book! But first, let’s take a look at the book we’ll be reading in October. It is…

MARY AND O’NEIL BY JUSTIN CRONIN

And now, time for the discussion.

NOTE – THERE WILL BE SPOILERS FOR THE BOOKSELLER BY CYNTHIA SWANSON IN THIS POST AND IN THE COMMENTS.

  1. In her “dreams” with Lars, people kept telling her that her behavior was understandable and it was apparent something had happened. Did you guess what it was or did you have other thoughts?
  2. When Michael first appeared in the story, were you surprised?
  3. Did you figure out ahead of time which life was real? Why or why not?

This is a hard book for me to review, because I liked it a lot, but there was one big part of the novel that held me back from really loving it. This book was described as being reminiscent of Sliding Doors, which is one of my favorite movies. One of the things I really liked about that movie is that both “lives” that she was living could have happened, but in The Bookseller that wasn’t the case. Once we learned that Lars was dead in Kitty’s world, it was clear that only one of the “lives” was a possibility. At first, I really liked that idea, but as the story went on it felt a little… long. I think knowing that either life could be real, wondering what would happen in each and how we’d reach the end in Sliding Doors created a tension that kept things moving and held my attention. In The Bookseller that tension wasn’t there. I enjoyed the story for awhile in the book, but the question of which world was real/should she stay in wasn’t enough to hold my attention for the entire novel, so about halfway through I started to lose interest.

Also, it seemed odd to me that Michael was kind of “hidden” for as he long as he was. I don’t think it would have seemed so strange if we hadn’t had that scene in the kids bedroom the first day that she woke up in that life.

I don’t want this to sound like I didn’t enjoy the book, though. I did! I enjoyed seeing each of the two lives develop and I loved that both lives were pleasant. Yes, each life had cons, but they also had a lot of good and I couldn’t decide between which “life” I wanted to be real.

WHAT WERE YOUR THOUGHTS?