The only problem with this book is that it isn’t Penny’s last book, which was simply tremendous.
It reminds me of the time I was enthralled by one of my other favourite authors, Tom Robbins, and his JITTERBUG PERFUME, which is still one of the best books I’ve ever read. I eagerly awaited his next book (which turned out to be SKINNY LEGS AND ALL) and felt disappointed, simply because while it was a good book, it wasn’t as great as his masterpiece.
What I don’t like about Penny’s latest is that is so much less organic than her previous books, which seem to have grown out of the characters. This latest takes a plot Penny is obviously invested in (she reported on it before she became a full-time writer), but this book starts with the plot, which she seems to have worked out before writing it, and the characters are plugged into those plots points instead of the other way around, not doing what they’d do naturally.
In my mind, it doesn’t work as well. The book is good, but it’s not “Gamache-good.”
Fictional account of Rasputin’s last days before being assassinated on the eve of the first Russian Revolution through the eyes of Rasputin’s eldest daughter, Matroyna. Sadly, the characters lack vitality, rarely jumping off the page; interesting to me only because it was part of MA study.
In the past few days, a Canadian jury found the perpetrator of one of the most horrorific,narcissistic crimes imaginable guilty. I do not wish to glorify that monster by repeating his name here.
The victim’s shell-shocked father came from China to watch every second of the trial of the man who brutally murdered his exchange-student son. He received justice but no apology from the monster.
What isn’t well-known that the father was brought to Canada for the trial by a Canadian law firm. The law firm, which played no part in the trial, had no role whatsoever and had nothing to gain, paid for the father’s trip over, his stay here, and arranged for daily translators so the father could follow the trial. The firm had one of its lawyers take the father to lunch every day in Chinatown and even took up a collection to treat him to a Habs game.
I wish to thank them for the effort (although I’m sure they will insist it was no effort at all).