Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Red Hook Road - Ayelet Waldman

Ayelet Waldman's book is the story of two families in the town of Red Hook Maine. The Copaken and Tetherly families are about to be united by the marriage of Becca Copaken and John Tetherly. The union is short lived as John and Becca are tragically killed immediately after their wedding in a car accident.

Red Hook Road follows the aftermath of this tragedy over the course of four years and the effect on the family and friends left behind.

The two mothers - Iris Copaken and Jane Tetherly are the main characters and the ones we come to know the best. Waldman's strength lies in her characterizations.  I truly disliked Iris despite her losses. Her sense of right, her scheming and manipulations added up to someone I would not enjoy knowing. Although her actions are not all bad, it is the way she achieves them that I found objectionable. Jane is portrayed a a 'typical' Mainer - stoic, spare with words and hard working. Despite her brusqueness she is the character I enjoyed the most. Supporting characters are just as strongly drawn, particularly Iris's father.

The sea, boats and classical music all play a role in the novel and are used by Waldman as allegorical vehicles.

Those looking for an action filled story won't find it here. Rather, they will find a thoughtful, carefully portrayed narrative of the feelings, emotions and actions of those left grieving after a heartbreaking loss.

Read an excerpt of Red Hook Road.

6 comments:

Jeanne said...

Oh dear, I identified with Iris, to some extent! She's a pretty typical academic. And I can't imagine liking this story without sympathy for the two mothers.

Mystica said...

Yes the two mothers have my full support. The book sounds very good.

bermudaonion said...

Iris knew what she wanted and wasn't willing to compromise, that's for sure. I loved this book even though I wasn't crazy about her.

Ladytink_534 said...

Oh how awful! Your wedding is supposed to be the happiest day of your and your family members life not the worst. :(

Ladytink_534 said...

Oh how awful! Your wedding is supposed to be the happiest day of your and your family members life not the worst. :(

Michele at Reader's Respite said...

I think I would really love reading this book....I jotted down the title for my next B&N trip.