Posted in book review, books

a turtle’s eye view – one of us by tawni o’dell

disclaimer – i received an e-galley of this novel from gallery books in exchange for an honest review.

sheridan doyle is a famous forensic psychologist and lawyer who is called on whenever the philadelphia d.a. needs a particularly vile criminal’s mind unlocked. underneath the polished sophistication, however, he’s still just danny doyle who grew up in bitter poverty in a dying town with a drunk father and mentally ill mother. when he goes home to visit his ailing grandfather, doyle finds a dead body and the discovery brings up questions about the town’s history, doyle’s family, and himself.

i started reading one of us twice before finally finishing it this time. i just didn’t care what was happening with any of the characters. everyone felt like a parody of the person they were striving to be and i couldn’t develop empathy for any of them. i never got comfortable with the juxtaposition of the different narrators and didn’t trust their reliability. tawni o’dell wrote beautifully descriptive passages but spent so much time on irrelevant details that i had to consciously tell myself to read each word. why do we need detailed descriptions of what each character is wearing? we get it, he’s prosperous because he left the town and they’re not because they didn’t; it’s not necessary to beat us over the head with it.

i wanted to like one of us but the growing sense of ennui present as i slogged through every chapter made reading it more a chore than a pleasure.

two out of five stars