"She should have studied science, not spent all her time with her head in novels. Novels gave you a completely false idea about life, they told lies and they implied there were endings when in reality there were no endings, everything just went on and on and on."

Case Histories by Kate Atkinson

THE BURNING AIR by Erin Kelly
52 Books in 2013 Challenge: #46; Finished October 14th 2013
This was the second book by Erin Kelly I’ve read, and the third she book she’s wrote. I read her first novel, The Poison Tree, only a few months ago and I’ve mostly forgotten what it was about now, though at the time I gave it a solid four stars. Is my reading comprehension bad? Do I just read too many books to remember each one by name and author alone? I think the problem is I just maybe rate too high, giving enjoyable readable books high stars despite the lack of character depth that comes with books that I often associate with book that keep coming back to me. So, anyway, all that’s to say, I gave this book three stars even though it’s better than The Poison Tree because I think it awaits the same forgettable fate. 

This novel is equally/more so readable and enjoyable then her first novel. It hosts a huge cast of characters and they’re mostly defined and easily differentiated from one another. It’s also a story that really ought to be discovered slowly with as little given away as possible, so with that in mind: it tells the story of the MacBride family, a privileged English family, after the death of the matriarch, who, upon her deathbed, wrote out a confession of some sort on which the story hinges, though we aren’t privy to the details. 

Ultimately this book is about obsession and grudges as much as it is about the ripple effects of decisions. It’s also about living with the consequences of your decisions and the directions that can take different people. It’s a mystery novel that unfolds in a way that allows the reader to think they’re in step with the author only to be knocked down again and put back in the dark. 

She writes it in a similar style as many books of this genre: alternating narrators and time periods. However, unlike all the Gone Girl's of the lit scene right now, it does not alternate between chapters. Instead, the book is broken into three large sections each narrated by a different main character and two smaller sections at the beginning and end. This style works in favor of the story, especially when everything you think you know is shifted in the middle of the novel. This style then lends itself to allowing you the reader to believe you have the advantage of knowledge post this point, which, of course, you don't. 

Ultimately, I was a bit disappointed in the lack of redemption at the bottom of this book. I truly loved the characters and loved hating the ones who deserved it and I wanted more for them. I closed it feeling a bit empty but not in the hollowed out, saddened way I feel when I finish a Tana French novel but just sort of spent, wishing I could spend a little more time with this family, that I — with my outsider perspective — could help mend and maybe undo. 

THE BURNING AIR by Erin Kelly

52 Books in 2013 Challenge: #46; Finished October 14th 2013

This was the second book by Erin Kelly I’ve read, and the third she book she’s wrote. I read her first novel, The Poison Tree, only a few months ago and I’ve mostly forgotten what it was about now, though at the time I gave it a solid four stars. Is my reading comprehension bad? Do I just read too many books to remember each one by name and author alone? I think the problem is I just maybe rate too high, giving enjoyable readable books high stars despite the lack of character depth that comes with books that I often associate with book that keep coming back to me. So, anyway, all that’s to say, I gave this book three stars even though it’s better than The Poison Tree because I think it awaits the same forgettable fate. 

This novel is equally/more so readable and enjoyable then her first novel. It hosts a huge cast of characters and they’re mostly defined and easily differentiated from one another. It’s also a story that really ought to be discovered slowly with as little given away as possible, so with that in mind: it tells the story of the MacBride family, a privileged English family, after the death of the matriarch, who, upon her deathbed, wrote out a confession of some sort on which the story hinges, though we aren’t privy to the details. 

Ultimately this book is about obsession and grudges as much as it is about the ripple effects of decisions. It’s also about living with the consequences of your decisions and the directions that can take different people. It’s a mystery novel that unfolds in a way that allows the reader to think they’re in step with the author only to be knocked down again and put back in the dark. 

She writes it in a similar style as many books of this genre: alternating narrators and time periods. However, unlike all the Gone Girl's of the lit scene right now, it does not alternate between chapters. Instead, the book is broken into three large sections each narrated by a different main character and two smaller sections at the beginning and end. This style works in favor of the story, especially when everything you think you know is shifted in the middle of the novel. This style then lends itself to allowing you the reader to believe you have the advantage of knowledge post this point, which, of course, you don't. 

Ultimately, I was a bit disappointed in the lack of redemption at the bottom of this book. I truly loved the characters and loved hating the ones who deserved it and I wanted more for them. I closed it feeling a bit empty but not in the hollowed out, saddened way I feel when I finish a Tana French novel but just sort of spent, wishing I could spend a little more time with this family, that I — with my outsider perspective — could help mend and maybe undo. 

"He could not see that we were never really his to lose. We belonged only to each other."

Erin Kelly, “The Burning Air” (via acontinentaldrifter)

"There’s a fine line between thinking about somebody and thinking about not thinking about somebody, but I have the patience and the self-control to walk that line for hours - days, if I have to."

Jennifer EganA Visit from the Goon Squad

"I stood in the doorway a long time, watching her sleep, hoping my silly hopes."

Gone, Baby, Gone - Dennis Lehane

"Be the good guy,” he said.
“How do I know I’m the good guy?”
He pointed at me, nodding. “A very wise question. You don’t. Most bad guys think they’re good. But there are a few signifiers. You’ll be miserable. You’ll be hated. You’ll fumble around in the dark, alone and confused. You’ll have little insight as to the true nature of things, not until the very last minute, and only if you have the stamina and the madness to go to the very, very end. But most importantly—and critically—you will act without regard for yourself. You’ll be motivated by something that has nothing to do with the ego. You’ll do it for justice. For grace. For love. Those large rather heroic qualities only the good have the strength to carry on their shoulders. And you’ll listen."

Night Film - Marisha Pessl

"When it was daylight, we’d been sitting on a stoop watching the street get light. She mentioned the light took eight minutes to leave the sun and reach us. You couldn’t help but love that light, traveling so far through the loneliest of spaces to get here, to come so far."

Night Film - Marisha Pessl

"People don’t realize how easy life is to change. You just get on the bus."

Night Film - Marisha Pessl

"The girl was like one of those picture books with pages that unfold and unfold all the way out, which caused children’s eyes to grow wide. I suspected she’d never stop unfolding."

Night Film - Marisha Pessl

"She seemed to already know what it took me forty-three years to figure out, that even though adults were tall, what we knew about anything, including ourselves, was small."

Night Film - Marisha Pessl