Traps

MacKenzie Bezos, Author
MacKenzie Bezos. Knopf, $24.95 (224p) ISBN 978-0-307-95973-7
Reviewed on: 01/14/2013
Release date: 03/12/2013
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Open Ebook - 144 pages - 978-0-307-95974-4
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Paperback - 288 pages - 978-0-297-86855-2
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-299-20217-7
Hardcover - 288 pages - 978-0-297-86857-6
Hardcover - 288 pages - 978-1-78022-471-8
Hardcover - 336 pages - 978-1-4448-1999-1
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Bezos (The Testing of Luther Albright) has a knack for the slow-build. In her second novel she galvanizes the mundane with a sense of dread, presenting four women trapped by sad circumstances and their own fallibility, as they gradually make their way through four tense days during which their lives intersect. Dana, a security guard, watches over Jessica, an actress, as she goes to face her exploitative father and retrieve a dog; while Vivian, a 15-year-old mother of twins who is running from more than one abuser, answers Lynn’s ad for help caring for her dogs at Three Paws Dog Rescue. All four characters have secrets—some, it turns out, involving one another. None of them are at all happy, and the author keeps the reader in suspense as to what the fifth day will bring each woman: doom or salvation? Bezos creates a sad, melancholic, nearly melodramatic world, almost too hard to stomach until we begin to see what she sees: “Life is full of things that feel like traps.... Sometimes later we see that they led us where we needed to go.” Agent: Amanda Urban, ICM. (Mar.)
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