Saturday, November 20, 2010

Book Review: Bound by Antonya Nelson

Bound by Antonya Nelson

Source:  ARC provided by publisher at BEA

Rating:  3/5

Antonya Nelson is known for her razor-sharp depictions of contemporary family life in all of its sometimes sad, sometimes hilarious complexity. Her latest novel has roots in her own youth in Wichita, in the neighborhood stalked by the serial killer known as BTK (Bind, Torture, and Kill). A story of wayward love and lost memory, of public and private lives twisting out of control, Bound is Nelson's most accomplished and emotionally riveting work. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts:
This book was very highly recommended to me at BEA. I'm always looking for a story that grabs me by the throat and won't let go, so was looking forward to reading this "guaranteed awesome" book! My verdict? Not bad, but not awesome either.

The story followed several different characters and, as I read the majority of it during my lunch hour, it was a little confusing at times to keep track of everyone. Would have probably been easier if I'd read it straight through, but who has time to do that nowadays?

Catherine and Oliver are a married couple, and I think they're supposed to be the main characters. There's also Catherine's mother, Catherine's childhood friend and her daughter, Oliver's children and ex-wives, Oliver's mistress, and another woman who I didn't figure out how she fit into the mix until the end of the book.  All in all, a little confusing.

The book starts off with Catherine's childhood friend dying in a car accident, and the ripple effects from the accident are felt by all of the other characters. Can't say that I really cared for any of the characters, as they were all a little unlikable. Not unlikable like evil bad guys, just unlikable as in flawed and/or weak. I think I liked the orphaned teenager Cattie the most, as she seemed the only one to have a backbone and any character.

Gave this one a 3/5 as it was okay, just wasn't for me. Nelson is a talented writer and I had no complaints about the story structure or pacing or anything, I just didn't care for the characters or the plot. Think someone else might enjoy this more than I did, and I believe the publishing agent I spoke with at BEA genuinely enjoyed the story and wasn't just trying to push her product.

Would be curious to hear your views if you've read this one.


  1. Since I live in Wichita, I may want to read this at some future point but I'm not running out to get it anytime soon. Thanks for the review.

  2. Think I'll skip this one and wait for one that you give a higher recommendation to.
    I just returned from the New England Crime Bake and enjoyed the panel of Dennis Lehane.
    Now I posted a review of "Midnight Mile" on amazon that gives more meaning after the panel.
    Please take a look and see if you feel that the review is helpful.

  3. LOL on the "read it straight through" bit, yeah....can't say I remember the last time I had enough time to do that either. Too bad this one didn't rate higher for you but certainly enjoyed the review.