50 of 52 people found the following review helpful
WOW!! Best new book of 2005!,
This review is from: Baker Towers (Hardcover)
I picked up this book after reading several excellent reviews in various publications. Now that I've finished reading it, I'm going to add my own "excellent review" to the list!
This novel is so well written, there is something for everyone inside. The book follows the lives of a single family living in a small town in Pennsylvania from the 1940's through the 60's. Each chapter singles out one member of the family, telling the story from that character's perspective. We see how each family member grows and matures, and how the ever changing world around them effects each one, and the direction that their life takes.
There's the oldest son, Georgie who goes off to war & then rushes into an unhappy marriage, Dorothy who moves to Washington to escape the "traditional" job of a woman in the dress factory of Bakerton, Joyce who becomes the "parent" to the rest of the family, including her own mother, Sandy the rebellious son, who follows his own path without ever looking back, and the "baby" of the family Lucy, who observes the older members of her family and decides early on which paths in life she definitely does not want to take.
The author has done a wonderful job keeping the readers guessing, and turning the pages to find out what happens next. Nothing is predictable, and there are many "surprises" along the way. I've read some reviews here, where readers have criticized the "jump" from time to time - I didn't find this distracting at all, and actually thought it kept the story moving along at an excellent pace. The story's not dragged out, and time isn't wasted on insignificant events. My only "complaint" (if you even want to call it that) is that there are times in the story where a character will refer to a future event that hasn't happened yet, and as the chapter progresses, the story actually moves backwards, as if the character is reminiscing. The times that this happens, however, are done very subtly - sometimes the reader may not even realize that a future event has been given away!
There are also many nostalgic references made throughout the book - everything from radio shows to early TV to the kinds of cars the characters drive and the clothing they wear. I'm sure many will find the story a "step back in time" which is certain to bring back many happy (or not so happy) memories!
While it's still early in the year, I'd have to say that BAKER TOWERS is probably one of the best books of 2005! If you haven't read it yet, please pick it up, and if you have already finished it, I urge you to recommend it to all of your friends. I haven't been as excited about a book since I read the LOVELY BONES back in 2002! With the right kind of "word of mouth" publicity, I can easily see this one becoming just as popular!