Laura and Charlie Rider have been married for twelve years. They share their nursery business in rural Wisconsin, their love for their animals, and their zeal for storytelling. Although Charlie's enthusiasm in the bedroom has worn Laura out, although she no longer sleeps with him, they are happy enough going along in their routine.
Jenna Faroli is the host of a popular radio show, and in Laura's mind is "the single most famous person in the Town of Dover." When Jenna happens to cross Charlie's path one day, and they begin an e-mail correspondence, Laura cannot resist using Charlie to try out her new writing skills. Together, Laura and Charlie craft florid, strangely intimate messages that entice Jenna in an unexpected way. The "project" quickly spins out of control. The lines between Laura's words and Charlie's feelings are blurred and complicated, Jenna is transformed in ways that deeply disturb her, and Laura is transformed in her mind's eye into an artist. The transformations are hilarious and poignant, and for Laura Rider, beyond her wildest expectations.
About The Author:
Jane Hamilton is the author of The Book of Ruth, winner of the PEN/Hemingway Award for first fiction, and A Map of the World, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and named one of the top ten books of the year by Entertainment Weekly, Publishers Weekly, the Miami Herald, and People. Both The Book of Ruth and A Map of the World have been selections of Oprah's Book Club. Her following work, The Short History of a Prince, was a Publishers Weekly Best Book of 1998, her novel Disobedience was published in 2000, and her last novel When Madeline Was Young was a Washington Post Best Book of 2006.
Having previously read A Map Of The World and The Book Of Ruth, I was very intrigued about reading Laura Rider's Masterpiece. After reading it, I have to say it is very different then the two previous works I have read. Different is not always a bad thing, just different.
With the previous two books, I felt more a part of the characters and storyline, but with Laura Rider's Masterpiece, although it was an okay book in regards to writing style, I did not really connect. Maybe because of where I am in my life, I don't know, but I just did not connect with them, and I love it when I can totally connect with characters while reading a book.
The other problem I had with this book was the lack of reverence of marriage vows. I did not agree, nor ever would agree, with a woman purposely pushing her husband into an affair. I know this is a novel, but I take marriage vows far too seriously to find this act funny.
This book is a quick read, has many humorous parts, does not take much thought to read it and would be a good "sitting on the beach" read or book club book (it will definitely lead to some great discussions), but I cannot honestly recommend it because I just did not like it.
BUY IT: You can purchase Laura Rider's Masterpiece by Jane Hamilton online, through Amazon.com and Amazon.ca It is also available through your favorite local bookseller.
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***Thank you to Hachette Book Group for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book for the purpose of review on this blog***