Friday, March 10, 2017
Review: Bradstreet Gate
I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This did not affect my opinion of this book or my review itself.
Title: Bradstreet Gate
Author: Robin Kirman
Publication Date: April 5, 2016
Recommended If You Like: college settings, ambiguity, complex characters, philosophical ponderings wrapped in a murder mystery
Three people enter Harvard as undergraduates, thinking this is the key to making their lives perfect. But an overly charming professor and a murder on campus shake their worlds to the core. As they graduate and grow into adults, the events from those four years continue to reverberate through every facet of their lives.
What I Liked:
I really liked Part 1, and the first half of Part 2. The mystery is highly intriguing, the characters are complex and interesting, and the writing style is excellent. Starting in modern day and flashing back to the events from the past creates a real sense of suspense that made me have to keep reading.
Anything I Didn't Like?
From the second half of Part 2, through the end of the book, I just didn't love it. The mystery I was promised gets lost in the characters' ponderings, and the story really seems to just sort of meander along.
I'm someone who always wants a mystery resolved, and not having any resolution to this mystery really left me unsatisfied. Reading an essay by the author located in the back of the book, it does seem this was exactly the intention, but it's not an intention I really enjoyed.
To me, this definitely isn't the next The Secret History (one of my all-time favorite books), as some of the blurbs tout it as. This is not a bad book by any means, but the potential of the beginning of the book just seems to peter out about halfway through, and the non-solution left me unsatisfied.
I think Kirman was just trying to do too much. Honestly, if the murder hadn't been included at all, I think the book would have been a tighter read. The author's purpose could definitely have been achieved using the other relationships, dramas, and revelations within the pages.