Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Review: Bethlehem by Karen Kelly

With the atmospheric storytelling of Kate Morton and Lisa Wingate, Karen Kelly weaves a shattering debut about two intertwined families and the secrets that they buried during the gilded, glory days of Bethlehem, PA.

 A young woman arrives at the grand ancestral home of her husband’s family, hoping to fortify her cracking marriage. But what she finds is not what she expected: tragedy haunts the hallways, whispering of heartache and a past she never knew existed.

 Inspired by the true titans of the steel-boom era, Bethlehem is a story of temptation and regret, a story of secrets and the cost of keeping them, a story of forgiveness. It is the story of two complex women—thrown together in the name of family—who, in coming to understand each other, come finally to understand themselves.

Kindle, 304 pages
Published July 9th, 2019 
 by St. Martin's Press

I finished this book a couple days ago and still struggling with my feelings. I was somewhat apprehensive since the blurb compares Kelly’s writing style to that of Ian McEwan and I’m not a fan of his. But I found the blurb intriguing effort, it’s the lesser-known bits of history I love reading around and Bethlehem Steel fits the bill. Also when Kate Morton's name is included I take notice - being a HUGE fan of hers.

I started this book a couple times before finally finishing it. I’ll confess that I struggled, especially when I got halfway through. I was bored, being unable to connect with the characters and really finding the point to the story was getting to me. Shortly after that though things changed dramatically and a nice little story came through.

Given the title, I anticipated more involvement of the steel industry and that didn’t happen. 

My thanks to the publisher (via Netgalley) for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

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