thecuckooscalling_usWell, we had a rollicking good time discussing this book. Because it was by J.K. Rowling, we had high hopes, as well as some fears. There were people in the group who had read the Harry Potter books only and loved them. Then there were some who had tried to read her prior excursion into mainstream fiction, The Casual Vacancy, and hadn’t been able to finish the darn thing. We all approached the book with some trepidation and then were delighted with what we found.

We discussed the author’s use of a pseudonym and how, in this case, the true author was revealed “accidently” by her lawyers. We generally agreed that with the way sales had been going, Rowling would have been revealed eventually anyway. The publisher wants to make money and prior to the revelation, it wasn’t.

Also interesting to note was that the proceeds from this book are going to a disabled vet charity. Very cool.

A long book at 450 pages or so, this length is on the outside edge of what our group can squeeze into the time given us. Luckily, we had an extra week this month! But we agreed that some judicious editing in the saggy middle would have helped immensely to keep us engaged.

We talked about how fame, the paparazzi and press in general are presented in this book and discussed how it reflected the author’s own experiences. Definitely a “write what you know” part of the story!

We liked the rather simple, linear aspect of the story, but have high hopes for something a bit more complicated in her next outing. The Harry books were very detailed and complicated, so we know she can do it! We also thought her characterizations and descriptions were just amazing. We found all of her characters, good and bad, interesting, compelling and multi-dimensional.

Favorite characters were Strike and Robin. We liked how they grew throughout the story and how their back stories and character depth were slowly revealed. The characters were likeable even with both their good and bad aspects revealed. We agreed that the author is wonderful at creating multi-dimensional characters.

Least favorite characters were Mama Bristow, Charlotte, Bestigui and the car driver Kieran.

 

4.5 stars

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