Have you missed me here? April may not be the "cruellest month" as Eliot suggests, but it can be the busiest. This past month, along with my usual Poem a Day Challenge on Poetic Asides, I have also participated in the A to Z Blogging Challenge on my other site Alabama Tarheel. In my spare time, I've been grading essays--dozens, maybe hundreds, here as the semester winds down.
Don't worry, though; I have been reading too. I encountered something new, too. I decided to listen to Stephen L. Carter's The Emperor of Ocean Park, and I found it an intriguing story. Somehow, though, I lost threads of the narrative or couldn't quite figure out a character's significance. Only when I reached the end, when the reader thanked me for listening and gave credits to whoever was responsible for the condensed adaptation. Aha! I had just listened to something less than what the author intended. No wonder I had questions. I had that feeling one gets when trying to keep up with a movie's story line while doing laundry, dishes, answering the phone.
I liked the main character, a law professor, married to a woman with sights set on a judge's seat, fathered by a judge, all part of what he calls "The Dark Nation." After his father's death, a variety of individuals insist he knows his father's "arrangements"--obviously not referring to his funeral arrangements. The back story includes the death of a younger sister, the victim of a hit and run driver. His father had been tormented by the culprit's escape, for a time falling under the control of alcohol and anger.
Misha, the protagonist, ends up chasing the trail, trying to avoid the "bad guys" and the "good guys--but not the great guys," all of whom want what he can't even find. Meanwhile, he's trying to deal with a rocky marriage (much of which must have been cut) and to be a good father to his young son.
I enjoyed the story but not enough to go back for the full dose. I do want a disclaimer next time.