Saturday, October 18, 2008

"Is love a tender thing? it is too rough, Too rude, too boisterous, and it pricks like thorn."*

I whipped through the next (or should I say last) Tess Monaghan novel, By a Spider’s Thread. Accustomed as I was to the slower pace of the previous books, and how that pace lent itself to setting down the book and picking it up hours later, then setting it down, picking it up, and on and on, this book took me by surprise. I sat down with it after I put the last boy to bed, and at midnight forced myself to close it and go to sleep.

It’s the sort of book that, when I was single and unencumbered by anything other than, oh, a paying job at which I had to appear in a somewhat timely fashion each morning, I would have sat up till I finished it, chewing off every fingernail I had in the process.

Beyond the usual entertaining characters, this book had an exciting plot, not just a coincidental amalgam of crime and discovery of culprits.

And there was real chemistry between Tess and her client, the dark, handsome, and sophisticated Orthodox Jew Mark Rubin. In the previous book, I often felt that Tess had so much more in common with her co-worker, a redheaded ex-cop who was a little too earnest for Tess’s tastes, than she does with her boyfriend, Crow. But it wasn’t until I was immersed in this one, following Mark’s and Tess’s chase of his runaway wife and appreciating the witty repartee and emotional connection between the two of them, that it occurred to me that I know next to nothing about the supposedly devoted and loving Crow, who seems to disappear from Tess’s life every other novel. And the little I do know leads me to believe he is emotionally immature and a bit…um….boring. We are TOLD about Crow but we don't experience his interactions with Tess all that often. Because of this narrative quirk, it's hard to judge the level of rapport and affection between those two (unlike Tess's interactions with, say, her Aunt Kitty or Tyner, which are full of both emotion and information). And I am beginning to feel like it's because there's just not a whole lot to Crow.

So. Do I hope that Crow comes round once again, so Tess is happy, or do I hope he stays away and she winds up in a somewhat implausible but much more fulfilling relationship with Mark or some other worthy guy? Because, as you well know, Lippman consults with me. Yep. Me and Laura – like THIS.

Harrumph. What do I know from love and/or romance? *I* would have happily sent Ethan off with Mattie (with their own stupid pickle dish), and helped silly young Romeo sneak away with his Juliet.

But then I also would have pushed damn Anna under the train myself….

*Romeo & Juliet, Act I, sc. 4

1 comment:

nutmeg said...

I think I am posting a comment to the wrong post. Oh well, hope the trip went off well! But my two cents worth about your book choices: I started 10 Year Nap and thought it a bit bleh - not really involving and I have left it languishing maybe never to be picked up again. I have recently purchased Edgar Sawtelle as it sounds really good. Also, I really quite liked Guernsey Literary ... Society but don't listen to too much of the hype about it as it is good but no literary masterpiece - but having said that I found it enjoyable and I didn't have to think too hard while reading it! If you like a good historical novel (set early 1900's in America and Europe and want to know something about Frank Lloyd Wright) you may want to look up Loving Frank by Nancy Horan :-)