Saturday, April 23, 2011

Book Review - Still Life by Joy Fielding

Title: Still Life 
Author: Joy Fielding
Year: 2009
Page: 384
Genre: Fiction - Murder / Mystery / Thriller / Suspense 

FTC Disclosure: Borrowed from the library

Summary (from
Beautiful, happily married, and the owner of a successful interior design business, Casey Marshall couldn't be more content with her life, until a car slams into her at almost fifty miles an hour, breaking nearly every bone in her body and plunging her into a coma. Lying in her hospital bed, Casey realizes that although she is unable to see or communicate, she can hear everything. She quickly discovers that her friends aren't necessarily the people she thought them to be - and that her accident might not have been an accident at all. As she struggles to break free from her living death, she begins to wonder if what lies ahead could be even worse.

First Sentence:
Less than an hour before the car slammed into her at a speed of almost fifty miles an hour, throwing her ten feet into the air, breaking nearly every bone in her body and cracking her head against the hard concrete, Casey Marshall was sitting in the elegant, narrowing dining room of Southwark, one of South Philadelphia's more popular white-tablecloth restaurants, finish lunch with her two closest friends and stealing glances at the beautiful secluded courtyard behind their heads.

My Thoughts:

Why this book?
  • I found this while browsing the library shelves. The premise sounded interesting. I have heard of the author's name somewhere but haven't read her books before, so I thought I'd give this new author (to me) a try as I LOVE discovering new authors (to me) Once I found a new author, I usually go and read more of their books!
First thought:
  • A bit predictable, but kept me engaged!
Cover Art:
  • I liked that it is a bit mysterious
  •  Fitting to the story
  •  I read the first half of the book in one setting, and would have kept reading if I didn't have to go to work the next day. So yeah, I'd say quite engaging for me. Note though, I am NOT into literature or "beautiful prose" or lyrical / flowery language.
  • Even though I was able to guess some of the twists, it still kept me reading. Though if remember right, when I read some of the reviews BEFORE I read the book (to see if this book was worth reading), one review included spoilers without disclosing it! So I found out one MAJOR twist before I started :( So that probably ruined it a bit... I don't mind reviewers including spoilers in their reviews -- in fact, sometimes I intentionally searched for reviews with spoilers - especially if it is a book I am not interested in reading but want to find out what happened, e.g. Twilight Book 2-4 -- but I appreciate the spoiler warning when I DON'T want spoilers! 
  • The book also jumped between past and present - but instead of having alternate chapters, the past and present intertwined in the same chapter, or the same paragraphs sometime. So you had to pay close attention or it could get a bit confusing
  • They were okay, maybe a bit too stereotypical, so none of them really stood out to me so I think the premise of the book won me over rather than its characters
  • Since I read this over a month ago, I couldn't quite remember how it ended but I must have thought it ended okay or I would have made a note if it was a really outstanding ending or a very disappointing ending.
  • As I read, I kept thinking how I would have reacted if I was in a coma and was able to hear everything... how would I try to communicate with the others? It must have been quite frustrating if your brain and body are not in sync
What I Learned:
  • If I ever write a story that alternates between past and present - make it clear!
  • Despite the negative points I mentioned, I actually like this book more than I thought I would
Read this Author again?
  • I probably would if I find another premise that interests me

Overall Rating:
3 Stars. Not bad.

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  1. I read one of hers years ago but don't remember it now.

    Have you read Andrea Kane? I loved her Twisted and I am reading her new one now which is great so far.

    I really need to read another memoir again soon, I want to keep up with that goal for the year.

  2. @Marce - yeah there are some authors I have read in the past but don't quite remember anymore... I haven't read Andrea Kane - thanks for introducing her! I found that with memoir, there are some I don't like... so I have to choose with some caution too (but at least I abandon books so I don't waste too much time on books I am not interested in!)

    @Cozy in Texas - thanks for visiting!