A Thousand Pardons by Jonathan Dee
I haven't read any of Dee's other books, but I was expecting something stellar based on his previous success. I wouldn't say I found this book stellar, but it is a compelling read. The characters are, for the most part, ordinary people (albeit ordinary people who have jobs, a house in the suburbs, and plenty to eat). I found the subject of male midlife crisis interesting because of things that are happening in my life currently. There are some characters I felt could have been fleshed out a bit more to make the story more well rounded, but all in all I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a relatively quick, entertaining read about a family dealing with major life changes.
Rated of 5
by Viqui G. (State College, PA)
A Thousand Pardons - Two Pardons in this Novel
Helen Armstead, the housewife, mother turned PR expert is the main character of this novel. She is part of the two main overlying themes of the novel. First there is the theme of acceptance of blame and subsequent redemption. Both Helen's husband, Ben, and her old classmate, Hamilton, have severe breakdowns which cause them to behave badly. The breakdowns themselves are not the important part of the novel, but their mutual but separate need for redemption and even absolution and Helen's role in their achiving this redemption is the topic the author explores. Both these men find it necessary to clear their conscious and Helen helps them achieve this in different ways. The second theme is Helen's outstanding success at becoming independent and financially successful in the business world with no formal training. In her new job she also deals with her clients' blame and their acceptance of blame I applauded Helen's success and felt that Jonathan Dee wrote convincingly of her struggles and good fortune. Sub themes of teenage Sara's difficult adjustments and disappointments were interesting. The weakness in the novel was the incomplete resolution of Helen's challenge in her last assignment with the Catholic church. Her assignment was sensitive and extremely difficult (and perhaps too sensational to be believable) and Dee did not bring this part of the story to a reasonable conclusion. Overall, the novel was readable and enjoyable and Dee really brought the character of Helen to life.
Rated of 5
by Debb R. (Grand Island, NE)
Take your time with this one.
This is one of those books that takes time to absorb and enjoy. I love Helen and Sara...... Ben, not so much. Lots of twists and turns and an unexpected ending. If you have a snowy weekend in front of the fire, this book is a perfect addition!
Rated of 5
by Charles T. (Asheville, NC)
Admit You're Wrong
An engaging book where a woman, whose family has fallen apart because of her husband's attempted fling, finds herself working for a Public Relations firm and, through her personal honesty and candor, becomes an expert in crisis management for corporate accounts. The main theme of the book, and the title, revolves around the concept that if a company or an individual simply admits their wrongdoings there is a good chance they will be pardoned. The tactic is difficult for many of her clients to accept. Their first reaction is to bluff and stonewall and refuse to admit any responsibility for what has gone wrong. But the main character's sincere and calm advise, to admit mistakes and ask for forgiveness, convinces them to give it a try and it works. The theme of the book is clear but in most instances the characters glide through crisis and catastrophe without suffering appropriate consequences.
Rated of 5
by Mimi F. (North Venice, FL)
A Thousand Pardons
I always am fascinated by the ability of a male writers to develop a plausible female character and I believe that Jonathan Dee accomplished that task. Helen was believable and likeable as the main character who faced with adversity copes and indeed excels as she recreates herself by being true to her basic tenets. I thought that Sara reacted as a teenager caught in that situation would and I found it easy to dislike Ben, but I did understand Helen's feelings at the end. I felt that the disjointed tableau involving Hamilton weakened a novel that was otherwise strong in character development.
Rated of 5
by Barbara W. (Watertown, NY)
Confession is good PR
Themes of transgression, confession and forgiveness are woven throughout this novel. The author also nimbly demonstrates how people in the most intimate of relationships can be so clueless about what the other person is really like. The fact that one character works in a public relations agency gives an uneasy picture of how character and truth can manipulated to fit our ideas of remorse and redemption.
Rated of 5
by Elisabeth W. (Durham, NC)
Landing On Her Feet
I enjoyed A Thousand Pardons which is about a woman putting herself together professionally after being a stay-at-home mom knocked back by an unexpected divorce. A Thousand Pardons has a similar, contemporary feel to Freedom by Jonathan Franzen, but with less morose undertones. One of the reasons I related to this book is because it points up the financial vulnerability of the stay-at-home mom. It takes a lot of trust and courage to give up the ability to support yourself by letting go of your career to take care of children for the long term. I do think this book is targeted toward women 40-60 and would promote some interesting book club discussions!
Judge rules unused Borders gift cards to be worthless(May 23 2013) Borders owes nothing to holders of roughly $210.5 million of gift cards that had not been used by the time the bookstore chain shut down, a Manhattan federal...