[alert variation=”alert-info”]Publisher: Ecco
Formats: Hardcover, Paperback, eBook, Kindle, Audiobook, Audible
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In true Oates form, she has written a book about human frailty with twists and turns to keep the reader guessing. Who else could develop a plot about an Iraqi injured war veteran, a pretty sister and a smart one who happens to be an outsider and missing?! This book is raw; the writing is real and immersive.  Zeno and Arlette seem to have it all in their nice, cozy, small New York town of Carthage. Their older daughter, Juliette, is set to marry a brave Iraqi soldier, Brett, while their younger daughter, Cressida, sits in the background. But things unravel when Brett returns home seriously injured and Cressida appears to be murdered after driving away with Brett on a late Saturday night. Although Brett cannot remember the exact events of the evening with Cressida, no one can deny she is missing. Cressida is looking for the love and the admiration her parents give freely to the pretty sister, Juliette. In part two of Carthage the reader meets Sabbath and pieces together what has happened in the seven years since Cressida’s “death”.  A visit to a prison convinces Sabbath that she must return to Carthage. In Carthage everyone’s life has changed due to the disappearance and apparent violet death of Cressida. Lives are changed forever but can they find forgiveness?

This reviewer is an avid Oates fan already, but this book is beyond what was expected. The characters are so flawed, so real and the emotions are raw. At times the details seem overwhelming but once the reader gets to the end, they will realize that Oates had a purposeful grip on them all along.

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