Saturday, June 12, 2010

Neighborhood Watch, by Cammie McGovern

I picked this book up because the main character, Betsy Treading, was a librarian, but McGovern got almost everything about being a librarian wrong. (She did get one thing right; if a librarian is out of the business for 12 years, it's almost impossible to catch up.) Because she botched most things to do with the main character's profession, I wasn't able to trust her about sleep walking, childless men and women, prison life, mad scientists, retrials. And it's hard to like a book when you don't trust it to tell you truths. It's also hard to like a book when you don't like any of the characters, even though you might be able to squeeze a bit of pity out for most of them. The story: Betsy leaves prison after 12 years when her sentence for committing murder was commuted because new evidence put the conviction in doubt. She returns to the old suburban neighborhood, moving in with the last of her former neighbors to still be around. With the help of her new attorney, the neighbors' daughter, and her former husband, she learns what really happened 12 years before. Gratuitiously, she has fallen in love with an inmate in the neighboring men's prison through a forbidden epistolary relationship. He is released, after serving his sentence for killing a family while drunk driving, just in the nick of time to offer her a future.

Maybe McGovern's book about special needs children, Eye Contact, is better. She might actually know something about them.

No comments:

Post a Comment