Monday, January 7, 2013

Book Review - Playing with Matches by Carolyn Wall

How did I come into possession of this book?
I received this book through Library Thing’s Early Reviews program.  I think their review program is one of the best around since they put out a list every month and then evaluate which reviewers would be best for which books.  I feel like I get a book about every other month, which is perfect for me!

First Lines:
“If there is help for the little guy–for my Harry, who won’t talk-it’ll be north on a green elbow of the slow-moving Pearl River”  (Wall 3)

What is it about?
Clea is given up by her mother and raised by a foster mom, while her birth mother lives just down the street entertaining men.  It starts with her childhood and eventually takes you to her adulthood.  A lot revolves around the small Mississippi town where she grew up.  She is forced to endure a tragedy when she is young scaring her from ever returning.  However, when her and her husband split up she has nowhere else to go but back to Mississippi and endures yet another disaster.

What did I think?
I enjoyed this book while I reading it, but looking back on it I’m not sure how much I really liked it.  There were some things that really bugged me, the jump of approximately 20 years in between two of the chapters; it just skips forward in time unexpectedly and without much detail about what happened during those missing years.  I also didn’t really like the story line with the boy who lived in the tree; I really wanted more out of him.  I really liked the beginning when Clea was a girl, I didn’t really like her as an adult and maybe that’s a point of the story.  But even after everything she went through as an adult back in Mississippi I still didn’t really like her, I didn’t feel like she had changed, and I wanted young Clea back.  The ending wasn’t my favorite either, I’m not sure if the big storm coming was necessary, it just all got really dramatic and I didn’t enjoy it.

Who would I recommend it to?
One thing I did like about this book was the southern setting.  You really got a good feel for the town and the locals.  But I really felt like this book should’ve either focused on the younger years of Clea or the adulthood, trying to do both didn’t work for me.  The book is well written and I can see it appealing to some readers, just be aware of that split.

Check out other reviews on this book from fellow bloggers:
That's What She Read

Did you read this book and review it on your blog? Let me know in the comments and I'll add your link!

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