Monday, December 12, 2016

Under the Influence by Joyce Maynard


Helen is a recovering alcoholic, having lost custody of her son after he suffered from appendicitis and needed to be taken to the hospital, which Helen did while she was drunk. She only gets to see her son for a few hours on the weekend, and given that she's not a very sociable person Helen doesn't have much of a life outside of those hours until she meets Ava and Swift Havilland. The two are wealthy entrepreneurs and take an interest in Helen and her son. The Havilland's welcome Helen in to their life, and put her to work asking for her help. Eventually, they get Helen set up on a dating site and it seems like they're mostly just interested in the entertaining stories rather than trying to find Helen someone she will like. Helen does find someone, a boring accountant, but a man who is incredibly kind and caring. The Havilland's don't take well to him and Helen begins to question her choice while Elliot is questioning Helen's choice of friends.

Eventually these relationships come to a head, with an accident where Helen's son is involved.

This book has a feeling of dread attached to it through the entire reading. You know something bad is going to happen and you're really just waiting for the shoe to drop. This made for a compelling read for me, wondering what was going to happen. It's a good thing that by the time I got the book, I had forgotten the description of the book though because the book description pretty much tells you the story of the entire novel.

There's a weird element to this book where Ava and Swift continuously make suggestive remarks to each other around others. It doesn't really add much to the book, aside from making me dislike the two characters after they've done it so many times it gets old. I'm not sure what the point was for this to be in the novel, as it was completely fake.

For the ending, the climax of the book was interesting but felt crammed in to the last little bit of the book. There were also a lot of unanswered questions for me. If the pacing of this book was a bit better, I think I would have enjoyed it more.

Thanks to TLC Book Tours for letting me be a part of this tour.

You can find out more about the book and purchase it here.

First Line: "It was late November, and for a week solid the rain hadn't let up."

About the Author
Joyce Maynard is the author of eight previous novels, including To Die For, Labor Day, The Good Daughters, and four books of nonfiction. Her bestselling memoir, At Home in the World, has been translated into sixteen languages. She lives in California.

Find her on Facebook or at her website.

1 comment:

Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

That sense of dread seems to be a major factor - it is what will keep me reading into the late hours to find out what happens next.

Thanks for being a part of the tour!