Thoughts by Carol Shields, Open Road Media 2013 (orig 1987), 386 pages
Challenge: Readalong with Laila
Genre/Theme: Literary Mystery
Type/Source: eBook / Kindle purchase
What It’s About: Mary Swann was a poor woman who wrote poems in a small town in Ontario Canada. When a literature professor finds an old copy of Swann’s poetry collection, she brings laudatory attention to the work. In her investigation of who this woman could be so that she can shine academic light on its brilliance, she finds out that the poet was violently murdered by her husband on the very day she got the publishing deal.
The academic world sensationalizes and salivates over anything they can find on how Swann could have come into her genius. Items begin to disappear: the only known photograph of the poet goes missing, luggage is lost, the poet’s diary is misplaced. Is something sinister happening?
Thoughts: The reader knows but the characters do not figure out that someone has been pilfering items until near the end of the book when there is an academic symposium and all can compare notes. It’s not like me to figure out the whodunnit but it was pretty obvious. I can’t say I ma happy with the ending but I enjoyed my time with the unraveling and the characters who all loved Mary in their own way. My favorite was the publisher, an editor in his 80s who wrote fun letters.
With it being written in the mid-80s, I was loving the references to politics and cultural touchpoints. And it had pie!
“It isn’t important.” “Everything’s important.” “I can’t remember what I was going to say.” She looked down at her rhubarb pie and pledged herself not to jeopardize what was left of the evening.
Rating: 4 slices of pie.
Readers might be willing to tolerate the new typeface imposed on them, and no one seemed to miss the old “Pie of the Week” feature when it disappeared from the Women’s page, but…
Copyright © 2007-2022. Care’s Books and Pie also known as and originally created as Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care. It should not be reproduced without express written permission.