Rough Draft by Katy Tur (One Signal/Atria). A memoir, as observant and witty as one expects from this likable and brainy TV newsperson, but rather deeper than that necessarily signals. She emerges …
Rough Draft by Katy Tur (One Signal/Atria).
A memoir, as observant and witty as one expects from this likable and brainy TV newsperson, but rather deeper than that necessarily signals. She emerges here as an almost superhumanly tactful reporter on her own colorful childhood and early life, fun in the reading and surely much of it great fun in the living...before you begin to sense what it must have been like, at least for a child.
Her parents were widely known in Los Angeles TV news; they weren’t on the news, but they freelanced: they owned their own helicopter and flew it around L. A. with a camera always at a “window” (remember the footage of O. J. Simpson’s slow-motion freeway chase in that white SUV?). But Katy allows us to see that these colorful characters were in other ways hellish for a child to love and to live with, not because of the nature of the work, but because of their own private natures and their harrowing relationship. In fact, the most recent “plot twist” that her now more-or-less-estranged (and widowed) father has provided for his daughter’s fine new book and complicated life might have been conceived of by John Waters for one of his aggressively outré movies.
We’d have been amused but unsettled by Waters’s slyly sadistic irony; but here, we think, “But this is unmistakably a sane, warm, loving grown-up, a wife and mother herself, telling us this story, a little sad, surely, even rueful; but utterly without bitterness! How...?” This is, for all its complexity, an enjoyable read and with a happy ending. Just no swelling string music; maybe more a dawn than a sunset.
The Ghosts of Paris by Tara Moss (Dutton).
Intricately built and decorated historical thriller, the second of a series set just after World War II (in fact as much a historical novel as a suspense novel, but there are mysteries to be solved and deadly threats to be averted). The central character, just beginning to take herself seriously as an investigator, takes on a search for a missing husband, and that leads her into facing, for the first time, the possibility that there’s more to understand about the disappearance and evident death of her own husband during the war. Set in London and Paris, and both cities are brought, grittily as well as dazzlingly, to life.
The Hotel Nantucket by Elin Hilderbrand (Little, Brown).
And so a second chance, after all those fumbled opportunities, to make you aware of a new novel by this great, thoughtful and smart entertainer and heartbreaker and almost-philosopher. And again, as pretty much always with Hildebrand — although last year’s, recall, was a warm sort of ghost story — again, I was about to say, a humanly complicated but admirable woman finds a way to make a new life. If you need more selling than that, you’ll find her at #1 on the bestseller lists this coming Sunday.
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