Tuesday, August 30, 2016
BOOK REVIEW// CAROUSEL COURT BY JOE MCGINNIS JR.
Carousel Court was dark, twisty, and scary. And it's so funny to me that I have such positive associations with reading this dark and twisty tale of a marriage and family pushed to their limits by the perfect storm of drugs, alcohol, infidelity, and a failing economy. I read most of this book while on my first cruise ever with my husband. We had a blast and really enjoyed our time on the ship - so it was kind of a funny juxtaposition of situations!
Keep reading for a book summary and what I liked and didn't like about this book!
Summary from goodreads.com
Nick and Phoebe Maguire are a young couple with big dreams who move across the country to Southern California in search of a fresh start for themselves and their infant son following a devastating trauma. But they move at the worst possible time, into an economic crisis that spares few. Instead of landing in a beachside property, strolling the organic food aisles, and selecting private preschools, Nick and Phoebe find themselves living in the dark heart of foreclosure alley, surrounded by neighbors being drowned by their underwater homes who set fire to their belongings, flee in the dead of night, and eye one another with suspicion while keeping twelve-gauge shotguns by their beds. Trapped, broke, and increasingly desperate, Nick and Phoebe each devise their own plan to claw their way back into the middle class and beyond. Hatched under one roof, their two separate, secret agendas will collide in spectacular fashion.
What I Didn't Like
This book is pretty explicit. My preference away from lengthy and repetitive sex scenes was something I wrote about briefly in my review of The Girls by Emma Cline. Everyone has their reading preferences, and while I am super open to different genres, authors, and time periods- I am just not a fan of protracted or graphic sex scenes...which this book had a lot of.
The main characters in this book are dysfunctional in a way that I had a lot of trouble identifying with, which made reading it a little tedious at times. The wife, for example, is addicted to a variety of pharmaceuticals and has a long distance affair with a former coworker. I hesitate before taking a Tylenol - their life was so outside of my own life experiences to the point that their choices were a little hard to follow and accept. Books are a great way to escape your own life or explore the life of someone you might otherwise never get the chance to- and while I love dark tales or marriage, this level of darkness just wasn't for me.
What I Liked
Without giving away spoilers, I really enjoyed the ending - like the last twenty pages were very satisfying and I am so grateful that the book ended the way that it did.
The way that the husband uses unoccupied houses as rental properties was highly entertaining and interesting to me. I live in a developing area of Texas and there is a house in front of mine that has been "in the works" for the last six months. Guess I missed out on an opportunity there ; ) But really, there were some very interesting details about Southern California and the housing crisis- and I wish that there had been more of that. It wasn't shocking to imagine someone setting fire to their home or committing suicide over financial ruin- and ironically those colossal acts really helped lend a sense of reason and balance to the irrational relationship between the two main characters.
Have you read Carousel Court? Let me know what you thought in the comments. Thinking about reading it? Click on the link below to find a copy at your local library.
Many thanks to Simon & Schuster for giving me an advanced copy of this book to read.
While the book was free, as a girl who is "all about the library" ( where books are always free) - you can be sure that all opinions are mine!