Reading Frenzy

Saturday, June 24, 2006

A Student of Living Things by Susan Richards Shreve



A Student of Living Things by Susan Richards Shreve

Claire Frayn lives with her family in Washington D.C. in the post 9/11 era, sometime in the not too distant future. Life is bleaker, there are more natural and man-made disasters, and terrorism is an every day event, however Claire and her family have mostly avoided suffering the stresses of the city. That changes on the day her brother is shot on the steps of the library of George Washington University.

The family begins splintering in the aftermath of Steven's murder. He'd been involved in some fringe groups and had written some politically unpopular pieces that seems to indicate this was a political assassination. Claire, a postgraduate biology student, meets a stranger who claims to have been Steven's friend, and draws her into the search for Steven's killer.

A timely tale, certainly not a good harbinger for what life could be like ten or so years from now. However, it is timeless in its depiction of grief and family ties, love, revenge and forgiveness.

6 Comments:

At 9:30 PM, Blogger ~ nellenelle said...

Let's hope this is *not* what life is like ten years from now!

 
At 10:21 PM, Blogger Kate said...

Amen! But you know, sometimes I think we're like kids, who think the bad things will never happen to them. And I haven't quite shaken the unease I felt after reading this book--the city is in a constant state of paranoia, there are bombings, snipers, and it's not altogther inreasonable that we could be moving toward that. But I certainly hope not!

 
At 10:21 PM, Blogger Kate said...

Or unreasonable ;0)

 
At 9:59 AM, Blogger jenclair said...

I liked the musical correspondence best, but had some difficulty with Claire's personality.

 
At 10:25 AM, Blogger Kate said...

What problems did you have with her personality? She did seem a bit gullible when drawn into writing Benjamin.

 
At 3:25 PM, Blogger jenclair said...

She seemed ingenuous and passive to me. I don't know, she just seemed too naive, too easily led ...for her age, the D.C. setting, and her education.

 

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