Sunday, September 20, 2015

The Lost Girls

by John Glatt
July 26-31, 2015

Cleveland made headlines in May 2013. It was a day I will remember forever. I listened to news stories for 10 years about two girls who had been missing and couldn't believe my ears when I heard they had been found – together. That just doesn't happen. And the more we learned, a third girl was also held captive, but no one ever came looking for her. Turns out she received the worst treatment and was imprisoned the longest of the three.

There is no way to "review" a book about this horrific event. I will say that Glatt's information was laid out clearly and presented in a way that made me sail through this book in just over four days. But the takeaway here is how completely the Cleveland police failed. Yes, it was wonderful for the team who finally got Amanda and her daughter out of the house and went back in to rescue Gina and Michelle, but before that – an embarrassment. For years people would report hearing screams from the house. Police would show up and knock on the door and leave when no one answered. The same thing would happen after reports of seeing a child in an upstairs window. And again when calls came in describing naked women in the backyard. WHY weren't these calls taken more seriously?? Unfortunately it's the reputation of that neighborhood and so many others like it. It's a travesty.

If you want to learn more about the girls' time in captivity and the subsequent rescue, this is a great place to start. I think we as Clevelanders will be seeking information for years to come. It's just hard to wrap our heads around why and how something like this can happen so close to home.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You

by Courtney Maum
July 11-August 1, 2015

I love novels about Paris. I also love that after ahem many ahem years since my last French class that I am still able to read French sentences fairly well. I was drawn to this novel solely based on the title. It sounded like the perfect summer read. While it started out that way, I quickly lost interest as the storyline lost its way.

A British artist cheats on his French wife with an American journalist. He's completely obsessed with the American and even more so since she ended their affair. But he loves his daughter and tries to convince himself that he needs to make things work with his wife. In the middle of it all is a painting that symbolizes these relationships. This is my simplified explanation of the plot because I'm not sure it deserves any more than that. While the book started out with gusto, I couldn't help but get extremely bored as the plot went around and around so many times without an acceptable resolution that I stopped caring.

My favorite lines, however, were those that humanized Paris. I will get there one day – soon.

"No woman possessed more confidence in her appearance than Paris."

Overall, nothing felt real, the ending was rushed, and the protagonist was a whiny asshole. From other reviews I read on Goodreads, it seems that many share my feelings. Even more people seemed to have abandoned this book. Me and my displaced loyalty.

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