Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Five Star Fiction: Standard Deviation

Is it possible to have two five-star reads in one spring break? Apparently, yes.  At one point I thought keeping track of five star reads would simplify my end of year favorites list I come up with.  But now I am realizing that I have already had too many five star reads for this to work.  

The good part of this is that there are some really good books out there and I am getting to read many of them.  

I absolutely loved this book! There is no big reveal, no suspense. Instead, Heiny's novel provides the picture of one couple and their life which all readers will be able to identify with in some way or another.

Graham's second wife Audra is a talker. She makes friends with everyone she meets and somehow manages to find out intimate details about everyone she knows. Their house is often full of house guests, some who take up residence for a while. Graham marvels at this ability, which he witnesses on a daily basis. Audra's big personality is a contrast to his first wife, Elspeth's. This becomes very obvious after Audra decides to include Elspeth in their social circle. Suddenly Elspeth and her boyfriend Bentrup are being invited to dinner parties and other outings with Graham and Audra, an awkward arrangement at the beginning, but something Audra seems determined to continue. Graham starts to notice the good qualities of both women, and even wonders a bit about the path he has chosen in life.

Graham and Audra have one child, a son Matthew, who presents his own set of challenges. Graham reflects on parenting a child who has Asperger's, and how his own way of dealing with Matthew is so different than Audra's.

Graham and Audra's marriage goes through highs and lows, and readers are privy to the inner workings of this couple's life. I loved this story especially for the character development in it. While there is no big a-ha moment, the entire novel was a delight to read.

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