by David Guterson.

I am so far behind on blogging.  Holy cow.  The mystery project is going well, and I wrote my ass off today, but now I want to clean off my desk!

I picked up this book from Goodwill a while ago.  Sometimes I like to cruise Goodwill for trade paperbacks that look like women’s fiction yet literary, buy them, and read them when I feel like I haven’t read enough modern, non-genre fiction.  However, women’s fiction is a genre now, so that tactic isn’t going to work forever.  I read Memoirs of a Geisha that way, and Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood.

I picked this up along the same lines.

Nope.  Not all trade paperbacks are women’s fiction.  This is definitely not a woman-centric book.  Spoilers follow.

It’s the story of how a woman is fought over by two guys, while one of the guys is suspected of murdering someone else.  You know what the crux of the story is?  One of the guys has a major revelation that the woman is never going to leave her husband for him.

OH.  MY.  GOD.  That is so, like, um, deep.

There are seven or eight POV characters.  The book’s wonderfully written, stylistically speaking, and every male character in it is totally engaging.  The women are all one-dimensional bitches of one stripe or another.  I mean, I know you’re not supposed to read a book from a “Get Them Evil White Male Writers” perspective, but it just got under my skin, the way the former lover never listens to the woman, and how she never had anything to say, couldn’t express herself, and how the man, even at the end, never got it, that she really just wanted him to leave her alone.  Really.  Anybody who said it was tragic and romantic because the white guy and the Japanese American girl couldn’t marry during WWII deserves to get smacked up the side of the head.  The fact that the major revelation revolved around the guy admitting the possibility that the woman could possibly have an opinion of her own made me want to spit.  The guy was scum, okay?  How is that supposed to be romantic?  Would you want this guy stalking your daughter?  I think not.

Call me bitter.  But I was disappointed.

As far as the mystery of who killed the MacGuffin, it was okay.  No Agatha Christie or anything.  But okay.

I just watched the trailer for the movie.  GAK.