Bent Road

Bent Road - Lori Roy Hmmm. I tried really hard to like this book, but it just never really grabbed me. I think it was supposed to be suspenseful, but the way it was written didn't really build suspense for me at all. Part of the problem was the spelling & grammar errors that snuck in. Some of them were so glaring and obvious that I got really distracted at points. Another part of the problem was the author's repetition of certain phrases - it felt like she was beating you to death with them. For example, talking about Daniel "becoming a man/being a man" was WAY overused. Also, WTF is so important about Dan "being a man" anyway? I get that this is set in the mid to late 1960s, but seriously, this was obsessive to the point of being irritating, and it's never given any context to show the reader WHY it's so important. I also didn't connect to the characters. Dad, Arthur, is mainly emotionally absent, Ruth is a non-entity for a lot of the book, Ray is a violent drunk, Dan is obsessed with being a man, Elaine is only into Jonathon, Jonathon is seemingly the perfect, handy Kansas dude, Ian is obsessed with escapees from the nearby mental hospital, Evie is obsessed with her Aunt Eve (a woman who died long before Evie was born) and Reesa is the know it all mother-in-law. The only character that I could relate to for short flashes was Celia, the mom, and those moments were too few and far between. She could be funny and interesting, especially when dealing with Reesa, but most of the time she chose to just drift along and wasn't really interesting.I think a large part of my problem is that I read [b:Dark Places|5886881|Dark Places|Gillian Flynn|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1354988288s/5886881.jpg|6873353] recently and this book really suffered by comparison. Both books talk about farm life in a small community (Bent Road in Kansas, Dark Places in Missouri), where something terrible has happened. In Dark Places, the main character's family is massacred, Bent Road has the death of Aunt Eve and disappearance of Julianne (a girl that looks a lot like Eve) many years later. The bottom line for me was that Dark Places did a very similar story better. Even though Libby, Dark Places' protagonist, is a horrible person and very unlikeable, she's INTERESTING, and the story keeps you reading because [a:Gillian Flynn|2383|Gillian Flynn|http://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1232123231p2/2383.jpg] crafts a mystery that's focused and coherent. Bent Road has too many tangents that don't really add up to a coherent story.