Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Book Brief: The Sabbathday River


The Sabbathday River
by Jean Hanff Korelitz
Farrar Straus Giroux, 1999
499 pages
source: borrowed from the library
click here for goodreads summary

One sentence summary:
Set in a small town near Hanover, New Hampshire, The Sabbathday River  borrows elements from Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter  to tell a story of infanticide and the resulting trial.

My thoughts:
I read this page-turner for my book club and we found plenty of discussion-worthy legal, medical, and social issues. But the novel, published in 1999 and set in 1985, felt somewhat dated. This quote, for example, made me laugh out loud... probably because I remember using the Index Medicus.
"One day this [medical research studies] will all be on computer, you know, and you'll be able to just look it up. But for now it's a matter of slogging through the literature, and there's a good deal of it out there."
Jean Hanff Korelitz has written several other novels including A Jury of Her Peers, The White Rose, Admission, and most recently You Should Have Known (which is on my kindle). Have you read this author?

My rating:





20 comments:

  1. I really liked The Admission so I'd give this a try. It sounds like the book needed to be dated to be set in that time period.

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  2. This sounds interesting though the dated quote did make me laugh. Can you imagine one day it will all be on the computer! It's like in old mystery novels where the detective is looking for a payphone!

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    1. Katherine - Exactly!! Dated , yet funny.

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  3. Are there still payphones? I don't think so. Sorry, distracted. Yes, I've read You Should Have Known and I liked it very much. This one sounds like a book I should pick up. Who would have ever imagined that so much of our lives would be on computers or even more, a phone. LOL

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    1. Kay - The last pay phone I know of was at our library, but even that one is long gone, lol! Glad to know you liked You Should Have Known. I'm definitely inclined to read more by this author.

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  4. It sounds as if this book tackles some really interesting issues.

    I do not think that the lack of technology inherent in the book would bother me. It is akin to folks not driving around in cars in a novel set in the 1800s :)

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    1. Brian Joseph - The book is interesting from a feminist standpoint... especially since the 80s wasn't that long ago.

      The lack of technology in the book bothered me in the sense that it's so dated, yet I lived through it. Not sure I like that my lifetime has become 'historical' ;-)

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  5. I haven't read this author but since you caught my attention with this book I'm adding it to my list.

    I don't think I'd mind that the book is outdated, but it would be funny.

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    1. Vicki - We read it because one member of the group randomly picked it up at the library and then couldn't put it down. I was afraid it would be a legal thriller with little to discuss, but was definitely wrong!

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  6. I haven't heard of this book or author but it sounds interesting. Imagine a world where everything has to be looked up in books - printed on paper!

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    1. Emma - I'm old enough to have lived in that world. Yet it's strange the idea has become so horrifying... even to me!

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  7. I had not heard of this novel or author but it does sound pretty interesting

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    1. Susan - It really was! I plan to read more by this author.

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  8. This one is new to me but I know I have read at least one of her other books.

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    1. Patty - I'll definitely be reading more of her books.

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  9. I don't know why I haven't read this yet. I liked The Admission and her newest is on my list. I OWNED Index Medicus!! (I used to edit medical texts, before they were sent overseas for this task)

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    1. Beth F - Admission was released at the same time my daughters were going through the process and I just couldn't face it then. Too close to real life, I guess. Still hope to read it one day.

      Index Medicus... ah, the memories ;-)

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  10. We have come a long way in just 25plus years. We were talking about how our first computer cost over $2000 and had that dumb, cheap dot matrix printer...lol

    Sometimes it can be fun to flash back in these kinds of dated reads.

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    Replies
    1. Diane - Yes we have! Still, it's a little strange to think your adult life has become so historic ;-)

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