Honest to God, I thought this book was called Decent. I actually told someone I was going to start a book called Decent. And he said, “are you sure that is what it is called?” Aptly, this is what I ended up thinking of the book. Descent is decent.
First of all, I must admit to something. I did not actually read this book. I decided to take advantage of the free Audible book and try it as a “book on tape.” This allowed me to listen to the book as I walked my dog, traveled to work, or took the subway. I have listened to books on tape on road trips before but never on my phone. I found this a great way to enjoy a book when my schedule isn’t really allowing for it. Admittedly, it did take a little bit out of the enjoyment of the book. Listening to a man’s voice speak as a woman – yea not so much.
Let’s start with what I enjoyed about the book. The beautiful writing drove this creepy and tragic story forward with ease – always keeping you guessing. Each chapter providing a bit of confusion by reintroducing characters without saying their names at different times. What man? What boy? It created mysteries within the mystery that slowly unfolded as the chapter moved forward. I loved the concept of the son, Shawn, being referred to as a boy when every experience and manifestation of his being was no longer a boy. It created a sense that nothing and no one was what they seemed or what they were meant to be. The development of each scene was executed beautifully and the story’s conclusion was an undeniable page turner (or whatever the book on tape equivalent is).
The only complaint about the book is the character development. Now, I understand the premise of the seeing the downward descent of a family consumed in tragedy. They become more and more separated both physically and emotionally, which is further highlighted by the switching perspectives. However, I had trouble buying some of the character turns. Not a chance that a family who lost one child would allow their other child to just aimlessly drive around the states alone – a seemingly pointless side story. The decided dirtbag of the book takes an even more inexplicable character turn (no spoilers).
That being said – this was a creepy book with a pulsating storyline that I enjoyed. I just didn’t really “get” the characters. So overall – its decent.