the next good book

Absolution

By Alice McDermott

9.5/10
(9.5/10)

324 pages

What’s it about?

Tricia is a newlywed when she follows her husband Peter to Vietnam in the early 1960’s.  There she meets another young American wife named Charlene.  Charlene is a force of nature and she soon pulls Tricia into her orbit.  Set in Vietnam and told through the eyes of two women- this is a story of a different time and place.  A time when a women’s role was defined very differently.

What did it make me think about?

How much the role of women has changed over the last sixty years- and yet how women relate to each other is still greatly influenced by this time.

Should I read it?

YES! I thought this small book was a revelation.  This is a novel that I do not want to spoil for readers- so I will try to keep this review brief.  I will say that something about these characters reminded of Wallace Stegner’s Crossing to Safety.  I think it was Charlene and Charity- who were both forces of nature and full of their own moral imperative.  I am meeting a few book friends to discuss this novel next week and I cannot wait to hear all that I missed.  So many wry observations in this book- layer after layer.  This will make a great book club suggestion for 2024.

Quote-

How to choose a quote when you have marked so many…   “I recognized her type from my days at Marymount: she had the healthy, athletic, genetic- as I thought of it- confidence of one born to wealth.  The first thing she asked me, in fact, was if I played tennis; she was looking for a partner. I did not.”  

What’s it about?

Tricia is a newlywed when she follows her husband Peter to Vietnam in the early 1960’s.  There she meets another young American wife named Charlene.  Charlene is a force of nature and she soon pulls Tricia into her orbit.  Set in Vietnam and told through the eyes of two women- this is a story of a different time and place.  A time when a women’s role was defined very differently.

What did it make me think about?

How much the role of women has changed over the last sixty years- and yet how women relate to each other is still greatly influenced by this time.

Should I read it?

YES! I thought this small book was a revelation.  This is a novel that I do not want to spoil for readers- so I will try to keep this review brief.  I will say that something about these characters reminded of Wallace Stegner’s Crossing to Safety.  I think it was Charlene and Charity- who were both forces of nature and full of their own moral imperative.  I am meeting a few book friends to discuss this novel next week and I cannot wait to hear all that I missed.  So many wry observations in this book- layer after layer.  This will make a great book club suggestion for 2024.

Quote-

How to choose a quote when you have marked so many…

 

“I recognized her type from my days at Marymount: she had the healthy, athletic, genetic- as I thought of it- confidence of one born to wealth.  The first thing she asked me, in fact, was if I played tennis; she was looking for a partner. I did not.”

 

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