The year is 1982, the setting an Edenic hamlet some 90 miles north of New York City. There, among the craggy rock cliffs and glacial ponds of timeworn mountains, three friends—Patrick, Matthew and Hannah— are bound together by a single, terrible, and seemingly senseless crime. Twenty six years later, in New York City, living lives their younger selves could never have predicted, the three meet again–with even more devastating results.
⭐️⭐️⭐️ / 5
Disclaimer: Grist Mill Road starts out with a couple of very disturbing scenes, and this book definitely isn’t for the faint of heart.
The book is told from multiple viewpoints (which I love!); mostly Patrick (also known as Patch when he is younger), Hannah, and towards the end Matthew. On one hand I really liked getting all sides of the stories, but I ended up skimming a bit of Matthew – more on that later. The book jumps between the past – 1982 – and present time which is New York in 2008. The book is also broken into 3 parts which I thought was a good move for the storyline.
Of the characters I was really surprised that Hannah ended up being so funny. She had a very dry wit which I loved in her viewpoints. Other than that though, I really just could not connect with any of the characters, even when some pretty sh**ty stuff was going down. I don’t condone anything that happened, but the characters just didn’t make that big of an impact on me. And let me tell you, these characters needed a whole lot of God’s grace!
I skimmed some of the scenes in Matthew’s point of view with Pete; too much talking about geology, glaciers, etc. and I thought it was terribly boring. If you love nature or are interested in things like that, you may enjoy these parts. I felt like a lot of this book was just plain slow, and it went into great detail. One nice thing was it gave you quite the backstory on the characters and you don’t find out exactly what happened that fateful day in 1982 until the very end.
Another issue I had with this book is that there are no quotation marks when characters are speaking which sometimes made it a little confusing. I just prefer my books to have quotation marks during dialog I guess.
Final Thought: A lot of people really enjoyed this book, so I suggest taking a look for yourself. Overall I just found the book a little too slow (although I read it fairly quickly), a little too verbose in spots, and I couldn’t find the characters terribly relatable. It is still a very well written book though, and very detailed (you can tell the author did a lot of research and was very knowledgeable). I will also be going back to read Black Chalk to see if I have better overall feelings about that one. This author just might not be a good fit for me as I was pretty underwhelmed by this one.
*This title was published on 09 Jan 2018*