Marcia F. (Batavia, IL)
A Thousand Pardons
A Thousand Pardons is the first book I have ever read by Jonathan Dee. I thoroughly enjoyed his style of writing as well as his excellent descriptions of his characters. They are all people we know. However,I did not enjoy the story line as much - I felt that the storyline was weak and trite and that the ending was totally predictable before I was even halfway through the book. This is not a book that I could reccommend for my book club.
Sally H. (Geneva, Ohio)
I apologize for not liking this book
This is the first of Jonathan Dee's books I've read, and I was looking forward to it. Initially the book caught my interest, but somewhere around the middle it seemed to start wandering. It is superbly written, but the plot doesn't rise to the level of the writing and the characters didn't make me love them, hate them or care what happened to them. Some of the events are so unlikely as to be ludicrous, and the book ends without resolution of the major issues. I feel as though I've read a book about nothing.
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.
Lauren T. (Orlando, FL)
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.
Nancy F. (Carmel, IN)
This is a hard review to write because I am confused by the reading experience. The prose and style are engaging as it did keep me turning the pages, however, I must take issue with both the plot and the ending.
The plot often appeared to be too contrived based on the suspense that was attempted by the author. I must admit that I am not a fan of predictable ending, but on the other hand, some closure as a reader would,have been nice!
J W. (Davis, CA)
This is a book of self forgiveness and forgiveness of others. It begins with a family - father, mother, daughter - living a typical suburban life. And then, because of boredom, that life falls completely apart. It's interesting that in the beginning the family unit is just existing in the house and, in the end, they are beginning to 'live' in the house.
I found Helen's transformation authentic in the beginning. As it progressed, I found myself wanting to tell her to wake up! But, she is who she is and Hamilton explains that better than anyone else.
All of the characters learned much about themselves and each other. In the end, all were changed in degrees and began to forgive each other and themselves. A good read.
Mary Ellen B. (Hebron, CT)
The book starts off as a meltdown of a suburban family when Ben, an attorney decides that he needs more excitement in his life. His bad judgement creates a mess resulting in divorce, estrangement with his young daughter, and legal trouble. His wife on the other hand, reinvents herself as a talented publicist. The plot bogs down when a former childhood friend, now a famous actor crosses path with the wife, and the book takes off as a thriller that doesn't quite materialize.