2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
An absorbing story of family life,
This review is from: The Believers (Paperback)Zoe Heller is a new find for me. I recently saw the film adaption of her 'Notes on a scandal' with Judi Dench which was brilliantly entertaining and that piqued my interest. I found the prologue of 'The Believers' rather unbelievable and difficult to warm to. The notion that Joel would have been attracted to Audrey on the basis of a meeting with her unlovable parents and one sexual encounter enough to have whisked her off to New York with him stretched credibility. But hey, this is fiction, so I persevered and that soon paid off. As the plot unfolded I found all of the characters believable, and Audrey surprisingly quite likeable, despite her blunt and sometimes ignorant outbursts. I think this is because of her unfailing love for and loyalty to errant husband Joel. Although all the family characters are strongly drawn, the novel is, for me, overridingly Audrey's love story, the sort of 'through thick and thin' love which one doesn't come across every day. Zoe Heller's understanding of real life spoke to me through several passages in the story including the following, as Audrey sits with her husband during the last hours of his life.
"Somewhere around two o'clock in the morning, she [Audrey] woke in a panic, convinced that Joel had died. She went over and put her ear to his chest. No - his heart was still booming away. That heart! Everything else was shutting down, but still it kept going, the last tactless guest at the party, unwilling to accept that the revels were over."
There were also lots of laugh out loud moments, though I think it's possible that only those readers who have had long and interesting lives themselves might really appreciate their hilarity.
Only one other tiny criticism. The use of the word insoucient cropped up at aggravatingly short intervals, almost as though Ms Heller had learned it from Reader's Digest as the word of the day and was determined to use it at every possible opportunity.
Otherwise a really enjoyable read!