Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Life List

Occasionally, I like to comment on something I've read. I just completed the book "The Life List" by Lori Nelson Spielman. It's this author's first effort and I found it quite enjoyable. Having said that, I must point out that this book is no "War and Peace", "Pillars of the Earth", "Gone with the Wind" or any other major work. It's an easy read novel based on an unusual premise. It has the potential to be a great chick flick and ought to be made into a movie. I found it on a Walmart discount shelf.
The plot begins as follows. The matriarch of a family dies. Two sons are given inheritances but the daughter, the youngest in the family, must complete a series of tasks prior to receiving anything. She has one year to accomplish the goals as set out on a list which she created as a teen girl. Her life takes some unusual turns as she tries, with the help of her mother's lawyer to achieve the goals, some of which seem impossible. Others kind of solve themselves while some are accomplished through the heroine's own efforts, by coincidence and by luck.

Once I got through the initial pages, I could barely put the book down. It contains some of everything...drama, love, loss, hope and humour. It invokes in the reader feelings of sympathy, hostility, frustration and fear. Some parts are predictable, others are surprising. There was a highly emotional section where at one point, my tears flowed so profusely that I had to take a break from reading.

My final verdict...pretty good. In fact, a very good first effort for this author. I doubt that such a list would be as easy to complete as the author suggests, but nonetheless, it all worked. She did not write herself into any corners. I would have liked to see a less rushed ending. The story wrapped up a little too quickly and neatly in the final chapter. On the other hand, this made the story satisfying. Thumbs up.

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