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Book Club: The Children, by Ann Leary

We Love Eccentric Families!

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Loved it!  Great summer book!  Leary nailed Beach Book +.  Some “beach books” are just entertaining.  Some are good enough that when it’s too hot to move you just keep reading.  The Children was just legitimately a nice well-written book with interesting characters (who would have thought, that’s all it took?!).

From the blurb, I knew it was a story about the reclusive daughter of a wealthy and eccentric New England family that had a secret life online.  At that point, I made some assumptions.  Perhaps she would be a bit whiny, a bit Grey Gardens, a bit weird.  She’s probably a gossip blogger or something equally easy to anonymize.  But, no.  The main character, Charlotte (or Lottie) is actually quite normal.  She just prefers the company of her family to outsiders.  In fact, I would go so far as to say some of the other members of the family hit the weird scale a lot harder.

And, her online life was unexpected (in a funny way – I actually learned a bit and I’ve been running my own blog for ages – maybe I can be a recluse one day…).

The rest of the characters were relatable and quirky; vividly real and mostly charming.  My only grievance came with how all the characters deal with the cards as they are dealt.  But, endings are hard.  It’s not an awful ending, and for these characters, it probably would be what they would do in the real world, but I like Karma and we sort of have to have faith that it happens after the story ends.  Though, I do realize books that are sold under the fiction or literature title and not some other fiction heading (sci-fi, romance, etc.) tend to end this way.  Maybe they should create a new fiction category Real-life Fiction (not to be confused with Reality, because then they would have all been drunk, dropped on an island, and forced to survive with a pocket knife, vote someone off, or marry them).

In any case, Lottie is probably my favorite character since Mark Whatney, from The Martian.  This one is worth picking up reading and passing around your circle!


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