Laura Riley,
Tell Me of Brave Women
(HB Stove Press LLC, 2013)

In the wake of the USB shooter, Laura Riley's Tell Me of Brave Women is very relevant. It's a compelling narrative, all told. It was especially cool that it was not all "first-world problems" -- while these are serious problems, domestic violence (i.e., wife-abusing) is something that spans cultures. It's a page-turner.

However, I am not sure the structure is ideal. The structure has roughly four threads, but they do not end up synced into a coherent story. They interrelate, but they do not coalesce.

Therefore, I think this novel would be more effective as a series of interrelated novellas. There's some overlap, but the plot threads do not in the end cohere.

I very much like the speculative aspect -- what if a man who abused his wife and/or kid(s) might face random retribution?

It's an interesting thought experiment, especially in the wake of the USB murders. The characters are well drawn and compelling. Their circumstances are -- unfortunately -- realistic.

book review by
Amanda Fisher

5 July 2014

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