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Kristina C. (Santa Barbara, CA)
A Thousand Pardons by Jonathan Dee
I was engrossed in this book and the characters from paragraph one, not only because the characters were so authentic, but because the author so adeptly guides us through this compelling story, while masterfully exploring his themes. This book explores the public and private "stories" we construct of ourselves and the rebuilding of them after the deceptions have been shattered. Its about redemptive possibilities. I want more from Jonathan Dee!
Deborah F. (Bedford Hills, New York)
I enjoyed it.
I enjoyed this book. I felt it was well written, and actually could not put it down. However, I felt much of it was implausible, in particular since apologizing for PR purposes can have legal consequences, this aspect of the book did not make much sense to me. More importantly, I was not sure what the author was trying to say about, pardons, apologies, and forgiveness, though clearly this was the meme of the book. I wished the apology theme had been more developed.
Lisa M. (Fullerton, CA)
The title of this book gives the impression that it's a story of forgiveness and redemption, but what it mostly seems to be about is people behaving badly and not really learning anything from their mistakes. Populated by underdeveloped and largely unlikable characters, this stunted storyline leaves a lot to be desired. I kept waiting to feel invested in the characters and story and never really did.
Mary S. (Hilton Head Island, SC)
I really wanted to like this book, however, even though it was barely 200 pages long, I plodded through it. The storyline was rambling and disjointed, the characters unbelievable, and the ending unsatisfying. It is hard to understand how the author could have been a Pulitzer Prize finalist. I have seen better writing by authors with fewer credentials than his. The author should ask the readers for a thousand pardons for subjecting us to such a poorly written, unfinished work.
Darcy C. (San Diego, CA)
I Really Wanted To LOVE This Book.
I was overjoyed at receiving this book to review, so I opened the cover with breath being held and dove right in. I wanted to be able to rave about this book, and for me, this book simply fell short. I was nonplussed by the big "event" that unravels this family. I kept thinking: THAT is it? I had difficulty identifying with Helen (the wife) because I was expecting these mind-blowing PR decisions, and again, I was let down. Were my expectations the cause of this? I'm not sure, but all my fervent hopes that the author could turn this story around, weren't answered. I couldn't identify with the two main characters and I truly am sorry that I can't tell you that this is a good book. A bad book? Not at all. A terrific book? Not at all. Give it a try yourself, maybe you will have a better time than I did. I sincerely hope you do... isn't that why we read?!
Sarah H. (Arvada, CO)
This book is filled with accessible and flawed characters, true to life, diverse and utterly relatable. That said, this book reached it's peak quite late in the story and ended rather abruptly. The plot ultimately was not as robust as the characters, and I wanted more for them.
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.
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.