Saturday, March 11, 2017

Keep Quiet by Lisa Scottoline ~ Book Review

On the surface the Buckman's seem to be the perfect little family.  Jake is a financial planner who's fairly new business is doing well.  After having had a shocking lay off when he was an accountant he is finally back on his feet and moving forward career-wise.  His wife, Pam, is also on a great career path.  She is a appelate judge who loves her job and has just been offered a huge career opportunity.  Their only child, Ryan is in high school and is on track to earning a basketball scholarship with his talent and good grades.  The one thing marring everything is Jake's relationship with his son.  When he started the financial planning business, he devoted all his time to making it successful and his marriage and relationship with his son suffered.  Now after counselling his marriage is doing well but he needs to work out the relationship with Ryan.  At Pam's suggestion he picks Ryan up from the movies so he can have some alone time with him and against his better judgement he allows Ryan to talk him into letting him drive the car.  At 16, Ryan is quite capable but his partial license has time restrictions on it.  But Jake wanting to keep the bonding open, thinks that the road they are on is deserted and therefore safe so after much pleading on Ryan's part he allows Ryan to take the wheel.  Then the unthinkable happens and Jake makes the split second decisions to protect Ryan's future at all costs and convinces Ryan to keep quiet.  But the life altering secret is eating away at both of them and it's events are threatening to blow it all up.  One lie leads to another and before Jake knows it the plan to keep Ryan protected might be the very thing that will destroy them all.

This was a very fast paced story.  The timeline is less than a week but so much happens within that timeline.  There was much to like about this book.  I liked the exploration of the father's role as provider and what happens when that is shattered.  I also liked the exploration of father/son relationships and the idea of how far would a parent go to protect their child.  I also liked the raw portrayal of guilt and shame and panic that Ryan is forced to live with and not reveal.  The story never let up.  That said, though,  other than Ryan, I did not like the characters at all.  Pam's character was what some call a helicopter mom, which in my circles is called a smother mother.  She micromanaged Ryan so much that it was driving me nuts and I had to periodically stop and remind myself that Ryan was actually 16 in the story and not 8.  She was also hypocritical.   I wanted to shake Jake at times as he dug them in further and further and just wouldn't stop even though he could see the weight of the secret was eating Ryan up.   I did like how this author though didn't hold back on the consequences of dishonesty.  Sometimes you see characters rewarded and not really paying consequences for their moral failures but this story did not hold back on that aspect...and I liked that.  For a reading group there would be much discussion opportunity on the various things brought out in this story.

I gave this a 8 out of 10

Review linked to Semicolon Saturday Review of Books

1 comment:

Faith said...

I read this book and LOVED it and infelt the same way about the mother!!!!!!