I finally read something!

Last night I had a Friday night in for the first time in a while. I did all of my favorite lazy things: watched a movie while eating popcorn with parmesan and black pepper, then got in the bath with a glass of Bailey’s and a good book.

Darling Jim

Darling Jim

Which one? Darling Jim. I recommend it. In fact, depending on how interesting the author seems to be, I might recommend it for a feature in our April issue. The novel opens with a horrible murder scene: a woman is found dead in her Dublin home along with two of her twenty-something nieces, whom she had  kept prisoner in her house for three months, slowly poisoning them. But why? And where is the third sister? The crime seems destined to remain unsolved, until an aimless postal clerk, Niall, finds one of the sisters’ diaries in the dead letter box and decides to find the answers himself. It leads him to a small town, and the story of a charming stranger who swept in and changed the course of the sisters’ lives.

Darling Jim is something of a cross between The Lovely Bones and The Thirteenth Tale. Like Sebold’s memorable debut, it makes the reader fall in love with characters who are dead (much of the novel is told in the voices of two of the sisters, Fiona and Róisin, through their diaries). Like Setterfield’s, it has a Gothic tone and “stories” that hold clues to real-life mysteries. And like both novels, it contains just the right balance of literary merit and commercial appeal that could lead to bestseller status.

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4 responses to “I finally read something!

  1. msdottie

    Happy to learn of our mutual affinity for Bailey’s.

    I’ve read both of the books that Darling Jim is a cross between and, based on that, probably won’t add this one to my list – despite the fact that anything with three sisters naturally perks my ears up. Great description!

  2. editrish

    Yeah, I am not sure how you would feel about this one. Jim seems more like a plot device than a character in that his actions don’t always make the most sense. But the vividness of the three sister characters made up for it. Actually it was kind of nice to see the man be the stock character of sex-on-a-stick for once. And unlike TLB, there was no hokey ghost sex scene to ruin everything.
    It probably won’t make my 2009 faves list but it was a very enjoyable way to spend a Friday night.

  3. Erin E. H.

    Can I borrow this? Is it a V.C. Andrews plot with better writing? FANtastic.

  4. Yes! E, remind me I have this for you…somewhere. Actually I think it may be in my car?