A Review: 31 Bond Street by Ellen Horan
31 Bond Street was a book club pick for the month of June. Because I was unable to attend the first half of the meeting, I didn't get to join in on the short discussion the ladies had about this title. Note: short discussion. Ok, the ladies I know usually have much to say about most of the books we get our hands on. You get me?!
The story: Emma Cunningham, a widow with two young daughters, is accused of the murder of Dr. Harvey Burdell at his residence on 31 Bond Street, where she acts as a lady-of-the-house/housekeeper. When a secret marriage certificate is discovered, Emma barely stands a chance against the rumors of her greedy motives. Backed by a defiant lawyer seeking justice for the innocent, Emma might be given a second chance. Horan weaves a detailed story of the trial that overtook New York. Based on the actual murder of Dr. Harvey Burdell, the reader witnesses the growing city-- thick with crime, new money and life-altering gossip.
Ok, so what I thought about the book. Well, let's see... I don't think I ever had that urge to go and pick it up. I saw it on the coffee table. But near that same coffee table, I saw my computer, and the computer won every time. It's amazing I finished it at all. Actually, I'm being harsh. The story was entertaining. I found the historical elements interesting-- the descriptions of New York City at this time, and the inequality that was rampant, and yet, so common. However, after the trial, the story spun out of control, exhibiting the writer's loose grasp on the characters, and the story, itself. I felt that it was thrown together and lacked believability. The characters were shallow and never encouraged any sort of attachment to their persons or predicaments.
I don't think I could actually recommend this title, but I don't think I could ever write a novel off completely (maybe). It works for some, but it just didn't work for me. Better luck next time!
OH, but I did pick up this sweet new road bike last night.