Friday, December 26, 2014

Playing Dead by Julia Heaberlin

Playing Dead: A Novel, Julia Heaberlin. New York: Random House Publishing Group, 2012. ebook, 293 pps.

     Playing Dead is for those travel buffs who enjoy a good fiction read with some mystery and intrigue thrown in. The setting for this one travels from Ponder Texas to ChiTown flawlessly. There is a mafia dude in it, a crazy dead mother, some other dead relatives, a stud, and some horses to boot. I was hooked from the first page.

     The narrator Tommie McCloud like me "learned early that nothing is what it seems." (page 9). The voice is both folksy and serious at the same time. I related to Tommie and her sister Sadie. I couldn't help but like them.

     The description of Ponder, Texas reminded me of several little sleepy Texan towns I spent some time in years ago [but I won't tell you what I was doing in them] complete with horses, a downtown, and pick-up trucks. And Chicago was very much the Chicago that I visited several years ago. 

     I've only seen wind farms in Maine but it was quite easy for me to transpose them into a Texan landscape. Bits of Texan history fleshed out Ponder for me, a place I could live in if I ever want to.

     Tommie's mother is certifiably crazy. Her dad and granddad are both dead. A brother was killed years ago. Some of her dad's friends are still in the background [and sometimes the foreground] watching over Tommie and defending her welfare. Being Texas, there were guns. I like guns.

sapphoq reviews says: Julia Heaberlin has written an intriguing book in Playing Dead. This is chick lit at its finest. Highly recommended.

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