Today I have to share with you my review for the blog tour of He’s Gone by Deb Caletti. Unfortunately my scheduled post didn’t go on the right date, but I’ve rewritten it for you.
by Deb Caletti
Published: 14 May 2013 by Random House
Rating: 3.5 sofas
“What do you think happened to your husband, Mrs. Keller?”
The Sunday morning starts like any other, aside from the slight hangover. Dani Keller wakes up on her Seattle houseboat, a headache building behind her eyes from the wine she drank at a party the night before. But on this particular Sunday morning, she’s surprised to see that her husband, Ian, is not home. As the hours pass, Dani fills her day with small things. But still, Ian does not return. Irritation shifts to worry, worry slides almost imperceptibly into panic. And then, like a relentless blackness, the terrible realization hits Dani: He’s gone.
As the police work methodically through all the logical explanations—he’s hurt, he’s run off, he’s been killed—Dani searches frantically for a clue as to whether Ian is in fact dead or alive. And, slowly, she unpacks their relationship, holding each moment up to the light: from its intense, adulterous beginning, to the grandeur of their new love, to the difficulties of forever. She examines all the sins she can—and cannot—remember. As the days pass, Dani will plumb the depths of her conscience, turning over and revealing the darkest of her secrets in order to discover the hard truth—about herself, her husband, and their lives together.
Deb Caletti is an award-winning author and a National Book Award finalist whose books are published and translated worldwide. Her first novel was The Queen of Everything (Simon & Schuster, 2002),of which a starred review in Publisher’s Weekly proclaimed: “This marks Caletti as a writer to watch.” Although written for adults, its coming-of-age themes gained it acclaim as a Y/A book. It made the cover of the esteemed review journal The Bulletin for the Center of Children’s Books (the first trade book to do so in the journal’s history), and then was chosen for PSLA’s Top Forty of 2003 and the International Reading Association’s Young Adult Choices for 2004. It is currently in its thirteenth printing.
Deb’s second book, Honey, Baby, Sweetheart, was a finalist for the National Book Award. Kirkus called it, “tender and poetic,” and the book earned other distinguished recognition, including the PNBA Best Book Award, the Washington State Book Award, and School Library Journal’s Best Book award. It was a finalist for the California Young Reader Medal and the PEN USA Literary Award, and was also a 2005 IRA Notable Book, an SSLI Book Awards Honor Book, and made the New York Public Library’s Best Books for the Teen Age, Chicago Library’s Best Books of 2004, and the Texas TAYSHA’s list. Her third book, Wild Roses, won acclaim with starred reviews in Publisher’s Weekly, which deemed it, “rich,” and School Library Journal, which said the book was “multifaceted and emotionally devastating,” with “profound observations and vivid language.” It was a finalist for the Washington State Book Award and was chosen as a New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age and a RT Book Club Magazine’s finalist for Best Y/A Book of 2005. The Nature of Jade was a summer 2007 Booksense pick, a Books A Million Book Club selection, and was a finalist for RT Magazine’s Best Y/A Book of the Year.
Her fifth book, The Fortunes of Indigo Skye, was released April 2008, followed by The Secret Life of Prince Charming in 2009, The Six Rules of Maybe in 2010, Stay in 2011, and The Story of Us in 2012. In addition, several anthologies include work by Deb, including “First Kiss, Then Tell,” a Bloomsbury anthology benefiting NPR Youth Radio, and two collections of non-fiction critical essays developed by Borders Books: “The World of the Golden Compass” and “Through the Wardrobe: Your Favorite Authors on C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia.” In 2013, Deb’s first book for adults, He’s Gone, will be released from Random House.
Deb grew up in the San Francisco Bay area and earned her journalism degree from the University of Washington in Seattle. When Deb is not writing books or reading them, she is a painter and a lyricist, and speaks widely to audiences on writing and life as an author. Deb lives with her family in Seattle.
Right from the beginning, you are plunged into the depths with this book, as we discover that Dani’s husband, Ian, is missing. Last night they went to a party and when she woke up he was gone. As the novel goes on, it feels like I am clawing my way upwards, towards the surface of the truth. More than anything I would describe He’s Gone as a suspense novel, as it is the tension and the need to find what happened to Ian that kept me turning the pages.
Consequently, there isn’t a whole lot of action in this book. It is mainly told as flashbacks from Dani’s point of view, as we find out more about her friends and family and, most importantly, her relationship with Ian. Throughout these back stories, we are given clues or indications as to why Ian disappeared.
I found Dani as a character quite irritating. Told through her eyes in first person, she was quite dreary, spending most of her time driving around or sitting indoors. In all fairness, I have no idea what I would do if a partner went missing. Quite probably, exactly the same. But it just didn’t make for entertaining reading. Furthermore, knowing she was an adulterer, I couldn’t muster any sympathy for her. However, this does make for a more interesting book, as I was immediately suspicious of Dani. Thus I HAD to know more about her, to know what happened to Ian.
This was a book that gripped me enough in the first chapter to keep me reading. Although I didn’t love the main character and was a bit disappointed with the lack of activity in the book, I ultimately had to finish it to solve the mystery. 3.5 sofas!
Only 3 days left to enter the giveaway! 3 winners will receive a copy of He’s Gone by Deb Caletti. One winner will receive a poster and bookmark of surprise art by James Vallesteros and ten winners will receive a bookmark of a surprise art by James.
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Thanks to Book Nerd Tours for organizing and for providing a copy for review.