"All the best stories in the world are but one story in reality -- the story of escape. It is the only thing which interests us all and at all times, how to escape."
--Author Christopher Benson



Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A Stranger Like You by Elizabeth Brundage

A Plume Book
A Division Of The Penguin Group

Available Today

It all starts with a Premise!!

Hugh Waters was so excited that he had sold his script.  His whole life was about to change. Then a new person was put in charge so the contract was canceled.  He believed the new person, Hedda Chase, was wrong when she said "NO!" to his project.  So Hugh jumped on a plane to Los Angeles just to talk to her, make her see the script was good.

The conversation didn't go as planned when she declared his story unbelievable.  Stressed to a breaking point, Hugh decided to reenact the terrifying ending using Miss Chase as the victim.  Now her life hangs in the balance when Hugh plan takes an unplanned turn.

This is story about how far someone may go to fulfill his dreams. Set in the high pressure of life in Hollywood,  it is a scary look at just how quickly things can go wrong.  I would characterize the story as more intense psychological story than as a thriller.  

The characters are uniquely fit together, sometimes at too much of a coincidence to ring true, but the characters themselves are believable with their many faults. Hugh is bored with his life, including both his job and his marriage. I felt sorry for his wife. The character of Hedda Chase is very unlikable so it takes a little work on the part of the reader to become concerned about her fate.  The homeless girl showing up at weird times and places gave me pause. Bringing in a character, Denny, an Iraqi war vet adds a sense of current events to the story, but again his actions were confusing at times.    

With all that said I did enjoy the book, it just was not what I expected. It was much more psychological as first Hugh definitely suffers a break from reality but it seems all the other characters do as well. This turns into a character study set off by one event that connects it each character to the others. 

The way the story itself was written was the part that made it interesting, as it was told from the points of view of three different people and we actually got to read what was in their minds, what they were thinking.  To me this saved the book. The characters were well written the plot just seemed forced and contrived.

This is the first book I have read by this author and understand her past novel, The Doctor's Wife, was very successful and received excellent reviews so I will probably add it to my wish list. This one was just a bit off the mark for me.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Plume Books, A Division of The Penguin Group. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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1 comment:

Steve Capell said...

Thanks so much for your honest review.