Friday, August 24, 2018

Sunburn

You guys, I read a book that you need to get to before the end of summer.  Fortunately, that gives you just under a month--the official end of summer is September 22, despite all this pumpkin spice business and back to school foolishness.  
not yet!

But, trust me on this, you gotta read this book in the summer.  It won't be nearly as enjoyable in any other season.  I mean you can read it in the winter if you really want, but its best read outside in harsh sunlight.

You've probably seen it on the internet if you frequent any book sites or on a bookstore display.  It came out in late spring and has been on most of the summer reading lists I've seen.  

So, without further ado...Go get yourself a copy of Sunburn by Laura Lippman.  

Before I tell you anything about the plot, let me tell you about the structure.  The book has short chapters and it's not terribly long (292 pages).  The words are not crammed on the page and there is a single narrator.  This is enough to sell me on a summer book.  

Short chapters propel me through and since I'm likely reading somewhere that a kid is also talking/screaming/playing a book with less than 300 pages seems like a realistic commitment.  A single narrator means I can just jump in without having to adjust to many different voices.  My reading time is precious in the summer.  



Ok, so the plot.  It's complicated and twisty and turny.  At the start, Polly decides to leave her husband and child at the beach.  Just walks away and out of their lives.  I read this while on the beach with my husband and kids and joked about doing the same.  The author delves into the comparison between a mom leaving and a dad leaving and the way society views the difference.  I found this so interesting and true.

reading sunburn while getting sunburned

But, it's not really about that.  It's really about Polly trying to set up a new life and what happened to her before.  She meets a man in this small Delaware town where she's decided to land for a while.  Adam and Polly are keeping tons of secrets from each other but they somehow manage to get intertwined, both literally and metaphorically, if you know what I mean...😉

Adam and Polly weren't great people.  They made questionable choices and you couldn't trust them, but somehow Lippman made you care about them.  I got to the last 75 pages and decided to ignore my family and the fact that I needed to make dinner and just finish.  It was the right decision.  

my son: challenge accepted

Sunburn was like reading an Alfred Hitchcock movie.  It wasn't gruesome but some bad things happen.  It was modern noir, a bit mysterious, and psychologically compelling.  And it made me crave a really good grilled cheese sandwich.  

"Still, he has to admit that yellow, the color used for warnings and caution, suits her."  

Have you read it too?  What did you think?

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