The Angry Woman Suite by Lee Fullbright
Master storyteller Lee Fullbright weaves three unique voices together in her award-winning psychological mystery about consequences. The Angry Woman Suite is a rare and bold novel; a heartbreaking, hopeful marvel.
"They need to be exercised, hearts do ... to keep them strong."
Every family has skeletons, but the Grayson family has more than its share of secrets--and of portraits. Mystery portraits that incite and obscure. Portraits to die for.
An unsolved celebrity double murder in Pennsylvania. A girl looking for autonomy. A young man in search of an identity. An older man's quest for justice.
A plot that pulls and twists.
Have you ever eaten something and thought, okay...this is good. Not great, but good enough. You have extra and decide you might as well save some time the next day and take it to lunch. Then you open your lunch and think, not this again. Since you didn't bring anything else, you open your lunch, warm it up and prepare to be underwhelmed. Then you eat it. Something happened during the night. This cannot be the same food. This is amazing! What was I thinking??? This is delicious, complex and just freaking great! I am the smartest person in the world for not throwing this away.
That is the best metaphor I can think of to describe The Angry Woman Suite. When I finished it the first time, I was overwhelmed by the plot structure, the characters' behavior and the sometimes confusing internal dialogue. After a few days, I thought this book has some great symbolism, and I might be able to pick up on some subtle plot points the second time through.
I found myself really getting into the book by going through it a second time. Knowing how the book ended, I was able to figure out some of my questions. Without giving too much away, I figured out the family tree and now understand how each character works with the other. Going through the first time, I couldn't quite keep up with the changes.
What was really great about this mystery/thriller was that I legitimately did not know what was going to happen. Just when I thought I had something figured out, another surprise got me. Usually this happens when reading an action-packed thriller; however, in Fullbright's novel, the characters behaviors and emotions drive the prose.
If I had one criticism, it would be Elyse. Having never lived with an abuser, especially a child abuser, I can't imagine what kind of mental and emotional damage that can create. Having said that, I found myself getting annoyed with her forgiveness. Throughout the book, Elyse tries to please her stepfather and continuously loves him after he does horrendous things. If I knew more about the affects of child abuse on the child I could have more accurately formed an opinion on her. Without that advanced knowledge, I read the book assuming that her behavior stemmed from the abuse. With this assumption, I believe that Elyse's character was emotionally gripping and at times difficult to read.
Seriously read this book. It's completely original without being overdone. I loved it not only for its literary value but its entertainment value as well.
Source: Review copy received through Novel Publicity.
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