Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Janeology



I recently finished Janeology by fellow blogger, Karen Harrington. You may have seen it on my "Currently Reading" sidebar for a while. I don't write many reviews of current reads, but this one deserves some special treatment. Here's my review: You MUST read it. See, that was easy. The richness of the writing holds lessons for us all. I was drawn in immediately by her mastery of detail and characterization. So much so, in fact, that I plan to read it again - this time as a learning tool!

As writers, we often wrestle with concerns that there are no new ideas left. We've read (or written) blog posts about it. We try to say things in "new" ways . Here's the coolest thing about Janeology: Karen Harrington found a new idea. This book is mind-bogglingly original and utterly fascinating. Seriously.

This description can be found at Goodreads:
Jane, a loving mother of two, has drowned her infant son and is charged with his murder in this powerful examination of love, loss, and family legacy. When a prosecutor decides Jane's husband Tom is partially to blame for the death and charges him with "failure to protect," Tom's attorney proposes a radical defense. He plans to create reasonable doubt about his client's alleged guilt by showing that Jane's genealogy is the cause of her violence, and that she inherited her latent violence in the same way she might inherit a talent for music or a predisposition to disease. He argues that no one could predict or prevent the tragedy, and that Tom cannot be held responsible. With the help of a woman gifted with the power of retrocognition—the ability to see past events through objects once owned by the deceased—the defense theory of dark biology takes form. An unforgettable journey through the troubled minds and souls of Jane's ancestors, spanning decades and continents, this debut novel deftly illustrates the ways nature and nurture weave the fabric of one woman's life, and renders a portrait of one man left in its tragic wake.

So often we read books that are like comfortable chairs - they feel good, familiar, comfortable. This book is not like that. It's unlike anything else I have ever read - and it reeled me in and left me awed. While courtroom drama is familiar territory, Karen twists it and ties it in genetic knots that will leave you dying to trace your own family geneolgy. Trust me - READ THIS BOOK.

24 comments:

Kimberly Franklin said...

Great review! I must read. Now!!

Patti Lacy said...

Shannon, first of all, ERIN GO BRAUGH!!!

Will think of you as I wear the green today at Barnes & Noble and listen to Irish tunes strummed out on a hammered dulcimer.

Okay. My budget will just flat be broke.

Thanks for a great review.

Blessings,
Patti
www.pattilacy.com/blog

Jemi Fraser said...

Wow! Sounds absolutely fascinating!

Christine Danek said...

Ooooohh! Sounds good --a must read!

Stephanie Thornton said...

It sounds intriguing. I'll add it to my list!

Tracy said...

That sounds good!

Robyn Campbell said...

Hmmmm, sounds very interesting. I will add it to my list. A list that already has a few Shannon O'D recommended books on it.

Great review.

La Fheile Padraig Sona Duit (Happy Saint Patrick's Day) =)

Jen said...

I'm glad you want to pick up Prada & Prejudice from my book review, and it's funny but I am now wanting to pick up the book you just reviewed! What an excellent story that I can't wait to get my hands on!!

Happy St. Patty's Day!

Jennie Englund said...

OOoooo!!! *wiggling fingers together**

This sounds really good!

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Trust me, everyone. You will love this book. It will be different from anything else you've ever read. :-)

Emily Ann Benedict said...

Sounds good! I like to read other novels for tips on writing. Sometimes "How to write books" just seem too stiff, but actually looking at a book that has done things right is a huge encouragement. :)

Carolyn V. said...

Shannon, my reading list is getting way too big! But since your review is so good, it's on the list! Thanks for the info. =)

Angie said...

Wow. That sounds really thought provoking. Thanks for the review.

Elana Johnson said...

Wow, what high praise! Thanks for the recommendation. As if I don't already have enough books to read. *wink*

Julie Dao said...

Excellent review! Sometimes we need to read a book that's more like sitting on the edge of our seats than curling up in a soft armchair. I'll have to check this one out, thanks for the tip!

Kasie West said...

Awesome. I need a good book to read right now (since my reading seems to have dried up). Thanks for the review. :)

Jade said...

Thanks for the heads up. It sounds really interesting.

Terresa said...

This one looks great, especially the genealogical elements in it.

Mary Aalgaard said...

Great review. You make me curious.

Jenn Johansson said...

Wow! Interesting. I'll have to check it out. :)

Jenn Johansson said...

Wow! Interesting. I'll have to check it out. :)

Shelley Sly said...

This is fascinating! I'm putting it on my To-Read list now. :)

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Oh, my! That is some premise. You got me hooked for sure.

Felicia said...

Hi I just give you an award :) please take it :)))

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