Saturday, December 26, 2009

Any Bitter Thing by Monica Wood

I just finished this book and have two words for you:  read it.  Monica Wood writes with such stunning and thought provoking imagery that there were several paragraphs that I have slowed down and re-read savoring the words like poetry. The plot is completely unexpected and flowed smoothly from one shocking revelation to the next. The victim of a hit-and-run accident, Lizzy Mitchell is left by the driver in the middle of the median, hurt and adrift. Later Lizzie comes to see the accident as indicative of her life up to that point. Raised by her uncle Mike, a Maine priest, Lizzy grows up surrounded by his devotion to ministry.

I absolutely fell in love with Father Mike and how he raised Lizzy.  At age nine, Lizzy's comfortable world crumbles. In present day Lizzy, now a high-school counselor, is still trying to make sense of what happened. Wood's characters show refreshing depth and complexity as they each grapple with the irrefutable power of the past. This emotional story is filled with crisp, rich details that linger in the memory. Wood's stirring domestic drama is full of surprises as it explores the weighty themes of religion, perceived innocence, and the corrosive quality of best intentions.  The character development and reliving through memory is reminiscent of Crow Lake by Mary Lawson.  The plot twists kept me engrossed as, tearily, I turned the very last page. 

Rating: 4.9  Definite Recommend