Trick; Domenico Starnone
Europa Editions - 2018
Since I absolutely loved, Ties, by D. Starnone, I couldn't wait to read his latest book, another terrific read.
When seventy-five year old Daniele Mallarico is asked to babysit for his 4 year old grandson Mario, he is more than a little reluctant to do so. His daughter Betta and her husband need to attend a 3-day academic conference. Not only is Daniele recovering from a recent hospital stay but, the babysitting commitment also means returning to his childhood home in Naples, the place of unhappy memories.
Daniele is a man who enjoys his solitude and his quiet life in Milan. A one time famous illustrator, he is now working on meeting a deadline to illustrate a ghost story by Henry James, however, not wanting to disappoint his daughter, he agrees to stay with little Mario.
The 3-day visit proves to have both comical and touching moments. Mario finds ways to distract Daniele from his work, and sometimes these distractions are welcome taking the grandfather's mind off his childhood and other depressing thoughts.
This was a sweet and moving story about life, ambition, choices made and later life regrets.
Rating - 4.5/5 stars
Sunburn; Laura Lippman
Harper Collins - William Morrow - 2018
Polly Costello (not her real name, she has many), is an attractive, bright woman with a somewhat wild and dark past. She's also a woman on the run. She's just abandoned her loveless marriage and young daughter Jani, while the family was on a beach vacation in Delaware. Believe it or not, this is not the worst thing that Polly has ever done. So, who is Polly and why has she spent much of her adult life on the run?
Much of the story is told through the POV of Adam Bosk, a stranger Polly hooks up with in a bar/diner in Bellevue, DE. (population, 2,000) while on the run. But, Adam, has his secrets as well, yet an intense relationship begins. Who is Adam and was his meeting Polly more than just coincidence?
A stand alone novel, tense and dark, had me quickly turning the pages. I loved the strong, cunning, Polly character and, when bad things happened it was hard not to suspect anyone but Polly was involved. Best categorized as dark noir, this was a very quick, satisfying read.
Rating - 5/5 stars