Sunday, November 01, 2015

The Anger Meridian by Kaylie Jones

Akashic Books, June 2015
288 pages

Publisher's Description:
Merryn Huntley is rudely awakened to the many bad decisions she has made in her life when she is told by two Dallas police officers that her wealthy husband Beau has been killed in a car accident, along with a local waitress. Merryn’s first instinct is to flee in order to protect her nine-year-old daughter, and the only place that feels safe enough is her mother’s beautiful, isolated home in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. 
(F)rom the moment Merryn arrives, she is forced into twisting the truth—about how much she knew of her husband and his shady business affairs; about her own secret lovers; and most importantly, that she is beginning to doubt the one person who has always been the greatest influence in her life: her mother. 
The situation worsens when two FBI agents show up and begin to ask Merryn questions about her husband’s business, which only intensifies her need to continue lying. While Merryn’s perfect world begins to crumble around her, she must decide whether or not she can face the most painful reality of all—that she has been lying to herself her entire life.

I received my copy of The Anger Meridian free of charge, from the publisher, through Library Thing's Early Reviewer program. And when I first started the book, I was a little worried that maybe I'd made a mistake in requesting it: The beginning seemed a little too much like several other "chick lit" books I've started recently and abandoned because there was too much chick and not enough lit. Glad I stuck with this one, though -- I ended up enjoying it much more than I expected to.

It's a very quick read; I finished it in a couple of days, which is very fast for me. The story never drags and each character (no matter how "minor") is distinctive and intriguing -- and that even applies to 9-year-old Tenney, who turns out to be wise beyond her years. (Yet not at all obnoxious!) And although Merryn, the book's central character, was thoroughly maddening at times, I still found myself really pulling for her as the tale unfolded. But I think my favorite character was Sophia, the doggie -- don't want to create any "spoilers" here, but I thought her story was very satisfying. Well, actually, I thought the whole thing was just that -- totally satisfying. Well written, well plotted, interesting characters and settings, with a bit of romance thrown in. And a truly monstrous mother figure. Just a really enjoyable read.


Rating: 4 points out of a possible 6 (a solid B+)

Reading Challenges/Events: 2015 Category Challenge, 50 Book Challenge, and Alphabet Challenge -- all at Library Thing; New Authors Challenge, Outdo Yourself Challenge, Women's Fiction Challenge

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