February 10, 2013

A Thousand Pardons by Jonathan Dee



Publisher: Random House
Publication Date: March 2013
Categories: Contemporary Women, Literary
Source: Random House

Description:
Once a privileged and loving couple, the Armsteads have now reached a breaking point. Ben, a partner in a prestigious law firm, has become unpredictable at work and withdrawn at home—a change that weighs heavily on his wife, Helen, and their preteen daughter, Sara. Then, in one afternoon, Ben’s recklessness takes an alarming turn, and everything the Armsteads have built together unravels, swiftly and spectacularly.
 
Thrust back into the working world, Helen finds a job in public relations and relocates with Sara from their home in upstate New York to an apartment in Manhattan. There, Helen discovers she has a rare gift, indispensable in the world of image control: She can convince arrogant men to admit their mistakes, spinning crises into second chances. Yet redemption is more easily granted in her professional life than in her personal one.
 
As she is confronted with the biggest case of her career, the fallout from her marriage, and Sara’s increasingly distant behavior, Helen must face the limits of accountability and her own capacity for forgiveness.

My Thoughts:
The theme of A Thousand Pardons is redemption. In that spirit I'm going to forgive Jonathan Dee for making me like a book I had no business liking.

The characters are big jerks. The ending is somewhat vague. A few things happen that stretched my imagination a bit too far. (Example: Helen jaunts on down to Manhattan and lands a good job after being unemployed for 14 years.)

And yet. I ate this book up with a spoon and wanted more of it. The writing is clean and refreshing. Even though the characters were twits they were real twits and I wanted to know what happened to them.

The "flaws" in this book are usually deal breakers for me. Not this time. How did you do that Mr. Dee?!

Ah yes, I do believe it's called talent.


12 comments:

  1. Glad you wound up enjoying A Thousand Pardons, great review. The author does sound talented!

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    1. Thanks Naida, I am too! He really is. I need to read more of his stuff.

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  2. "In that spirit I'm going to forgive Jonathan Dee for making me like a book I had no business liking."

    Oh man, if I had a dime every time I've said something like that. Makes me feel all wrong when I like books I shouldn't.

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    1. After I was done reading it I eyed the book suspiciously. How did that just happen?? ;)

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  3. I love what you said about liking this novel despite all the flaws that are usually deal breakers for you. It gives me a certain respect for this author, even without having read his work.

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  4. I love it when I love books unexpectedly, it's great to be taken by surprise sometimes!

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    1. I agree with you there, it was a pleasant surprise!

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  5. Haha, that is the funniest thing when you recognize that you shouldn't like a book but you just can't put it down! I'm glad you enjoyed it - does the author have any other books??

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    1. Yep, I think he's written 5 or so? His last book The Privileges was a finalist for the Pulitzer in fact!

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  6. Yes, that part about Helen immediately becoming so successful was a stretch...but, like you, I really loved this book.

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    1. That wasn't very realistic but hey, I guess stranger things have happened right? ;)

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