Monday, May 25, 2009

Review: Precious by Sandra Novack

Book Info:
Precious by Sandra Novack
Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Random House (February 17, 2009)
ISBN-13: 9781400066803
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Rating: 3.5/5

The summer of 1978, ten-year-old Vicki Anderson rides her bike to the local park and goes missing. Her tight-knit blue-collar Pennsylvania neighborhood, where children roam the streets at night playing lightning tag, above ground pools sparkle in backyards, and flowers scent the air, will never be the same.

Down the street from Vicki’s house, another family is in crisis. Troubled by her past, headstrong Natalia Kisch has abandoned her husband and two daughters for another man. Frank Kisch, grappling with his anger, is left to raise their girls alone, oblivious to his daughters’ struggles with both disappearances: Eva, seventeen, plunges into an affair with her married high school teacher, and nine-year-old Sissy escapes to a world of imagination and storytelling that becomes so magical it pierces the reality of the everyday.

When Natalia unexpectedly returns, the struggles and tensions that have built over the summer erupt into a series of events that change the Kisches irrevocably—forcing them to piece together their complicated pasts and commitments to each other.

Precious is a complex story of a family in turmoil. They are going through a very rough period and the story is not a light one. There are some light moments, but the sadness and uncertainty of what will happen to the family is primary. Sissy, the younger daughter, offers some lighter moments, but even these seem to be shadowed by her family's drama.

Usually when I read a book I have a pretty good idea if I like a characters before I get too far into the story. With Precious my feelings toward the characters kept changing. The voice of the story didn't change, but at different times seemed to focus on what each character was going through at the moment. For example, Frank, the father, originally came across as very distant and uninvolved with the crisis in his family. Once I got to know him a little better I could tell he was just trying to keep his family going as best he could. The focus on the different characters was a very effective way of showing all sides of the story.

I loved the ending of Precious. As I was getting close to the end of the story I was afraid that the ending would tie up the story a little too neatly. I am happy to say this didn't happen. The ending provided some closure but still left a lot of things open to speculation. I love an ending that give you something to think about after the story is over. 3.5 stars

Thank you to TLC Book Tours and Sandra Novack for this review copy.

Other Tour Stops:
Monday, May 4th: Fizzy Thoughts
Wednesday, May 6th: Book, Line, and Sinker
Thursday, May 7th: Redlady’s Reading Room
Monday, May 11th: Musings of a Bookish Kitty
Wednesday, May 13th: Bookworm with a View
Thursday, May 14th: Pop Culture Junkie
Monday, May 18th: Literate Housewife
Friday, May 22nd: Booking Mama
Tuesday, May 26th: Book Addiction
Friday, May 29th: Diary of an Eccentric


Sandra Novack said...

Hey Melissa,

Thanks so much for the review!

All Best,

Darlene said...

I've been reading the reviews of this one and I think it's one I'd like to read although I'm still kind of on the fence. Thanks for the review.

Sandy Nawrot said...

This one intrigues me! I like to be left with a little thread or two that isn't tied up neatly. Something to mess with in my mind afterwards, you know? Great review! I'll have fun following the tour!

Literary Feline said...

I thought the ending of this one was very fitting to the book as well. The characters were very multi-dimensional, weren't they? I'm so glad I had the chance to read this book.

Irene said...

I read this book, and had mixed feelings about it. It is getting great reviews, and I keep thinking: Did I miss something. Your review pulled it together for me, and I agree, I don't like neatly wrapped endings. Great review.

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

Great review! Looking forward to this one; thanks again so much!

Zibilee said...

Great review! I hadn't heard of this book, but it sounds interesting. I like the fact that it forced you to change your opinions midstream while reading. I think that is a really impressive feat for a book.