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Still Life: A Novel [Large Print] [Paperback]

Joy Fielding
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Nov. 8 2010
New York Times bestselling author Joy Fielding delivers a riveting tale of suspense about a young woman caught in a nightmare somewhere between life and death.

Beautiful, happily married, and the owner of a successful interior design business, Casey Marshall couldn't be more content with her life, until a car slams into her at almost fifty miles an hour, breaking nearly every bone in her body and plunging her into a coma. Lying in her hospital bed, Casey realizes that although she is unable to see or communicate, she can hear everything. She quickly discovers that her friends aren't necessarily the people she thought them to be -- and that her accident might not have been an accident at all. As she struggles to break free from her living death, she begins to wonder if what lies ahead could be even worse.

"It is Fielding's ability to get under the skin of her characters -- and her readers -- that has made her such a dependably bestselling author," says the Calgary Herald. Smart, suspenseful, and overwhelmingly addictive, Still Life is a novel her fans won't soon forget.

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“Fielding is a master of anticipation and knows how to create a labyrinth of tension, never providing an exit until the very last page.” — The Globe and Mail

From the Hardcover edition. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Joy Fielding is the New York Times bestselling author of Now You See Her, The Wild Zone, Still Life, Charley’s Web, Heartstopper, Mad River Road, Puppet, Lost, Whispers and Lies, Grand Avenue, The First Time, See Jane Run, and other acclaimed novels. She divides her time between Toronto and Palm Beach, Florida. Visit her website at

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Page turner... April 6 2009
By Luanne Ollivier #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
Joy Fielding's latest book Still Life has just been released by Random House Canada. And like many of her previous novels, it's sure to be a bestseller.

Casey Marshall is 'that' girl. Beautiful, wealthy, successful in everything she attempts - business and love, with a great life and wonderful friends. She is leaving a restaurant after lunching with friends when she is hit by an SUV that flees the scene. Miraculously Casey isn't dead - but she is in a coma.

Here's the great twist - she can hear everything going on around her, but can't respond, verbally or physically. Once Casey had thought it would be great fun in life "to be able to eavesdrop, to listen in on private conversations, to find out what people were really thinking, to discover their deepest secrets, witness what they did when they assumed they were alone."

But then she hears the detective in charge of her case say that it may not have been an accident, it may have been an attempt on her life. Who could want her dead? Her loving husband, her troubled sister, her two best friends, someone from work?

"How bitterly ironic... that her main reason for living had come down to finding out who wanted her dead."

The entire story is based around Casey - what she can hear and what she learns about those closest to her. We learn the back story through her memories.

If you're looking for a terrifically entertaining read this is definitely a good choice. Not an overly elaborate whodunit and the characters are a bit formulaic, but a satisfying page turner, perfect for a bit of escapist reading on the beach or on a rainy day.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Suspensefull and Hard to Put Down! Jan. 6 2012
Format:Mass Market Paperback
A very enjoyable read and written from a very different perspective. Imagine how you would feel being able to listen to everything going on and being said while you are in a coma. You are the preverbial fly on the wall.
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4.0 out of 5 stars amazing Sept. 7 2011
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have read several Joy Fieldings books and she has not disappointed me yet. I could hardly put the book down once I started reading it. Action all the way through and she keeps you guessing. HIghly recommended.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars  115 reviews
37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Suspense Suspense Suspense! March 5 2009
By 4everSLAUGHTERED - Published on
Ever wanted to be a fly on the wall? Unfortunately for wealthy, beautiful and happily married Casey Marshall she has become that proverbial fly. After being hit by a van at 50 mph and breaking nearly every bone in her body she is left in a coma. The police suspect foul play and since this is Joy Fielding of course there's foul play. Casey cannot move her body and cannot open her eyes. Imagine how terrifying that must be. Trapped! But Casey can hear. She can hear everything. Her two best friends, her troubled younger sister, and her adoring husband come in and out of her hospital room for months. Conversations, arguments and confessions are open for Casey's ears. Between visits, Casey spends her time remembering childhood moments with her dysfunctional family and many nannies, as well as, how she met her best friends and her husband. The stories are both touching and sad. As Casey struggles to open her eyes and make contact with the world the attempted killer becomes clear to the reader. I was shocked by the revelation. The suspense in this book is sometimes too much. I was literally on the edge of my seat. I wanted to scream "Wake up now!" The ending was a little disappointing. I wanted more of a confrontation between the attempted killer and victim. Overall, loved it! Great suspense.
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Predictable and uninspired ... April 13 2009
By Denise Crawford - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
Here is yet another Fielding novel, after Charley's Web: A Novel that has not lived up to my expectations. I've been quite disappointed in the past several books by an author whose novels I used to automatically purchase. One of the publisher reviews called Still Life "a heart-pounding mainstream thriller"" - I'm not sure what book with that title the person was referring to, but it wasn't this one.

In still another tired "damsel in distress" tale, this one features Casey Marshall (typical stunning rich talented young woman of contemporary romance fiction with a wealthy, handsome lawyer husband) who has the misfortune of being the victim of a hit and run accident. Premise: was it really an accident or was it attempted murder?

The story really never gets much out of the starting gate. During most of the book, Casey lies in a bed in the hospital or at her home - completely motionless and without any ability to see or interact with the characters that gather and talk around her bed. (As a nurse I've often been told that persons in coma can hear and that they could possibly understand what is happening around them although there is a lot of speculation as to whether or not that is true since the only cases that provide evidence are the ones where the person eventually wakes up and then can related their personal experience and tell whether or not they were aware during their coma state.) Regardless of the medical accuracy, I just made myself suspend any disbelief at the description of Casey's injuries and just read the book discounting the science.

The accident occurs early in the novel and then we meander through some back-story of Casey's childhood (which incidentally has nothing whatsoever to do with the development of the characters or furthering the plot) and learn about her absent, alcoholic mother and philandering playboy father. It was as if the author was adding some fluff to an old tried and true formula of the "accident disguised as attempted murder" and/or "dastardly acquaintance after the money" plot lines. We learn who arranged this "accident" very early in the book and then we figure out that the rest of the book is going to be predictable and that it's going to end just as we suspect it will. I hope it's not a spoiler to say that everything turns out exactly as guessed before reading page two.

All in all it was an OK read. If you must read it, borrow, don't buy.
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very light fluff read April 26 2009
By OlyNomad - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
If you like Cosmo magazine, soap operas or cheesy romance books with unrealistic'll find something to like about this book. If you like realistic characters with depth and genuine personality, you might want to pass on this one. I almost stopped reading it after the first few chapters because of how one-dimensional the characters were. But I carried on and the pace did pick up some and mid-book I was thinking well, it's not that bad. Even though the dialogue and plot were still highly unlikely, at least the plot kept me guessing a little. But towards the end it just started to nosedive. At the end I rolled my eyes and was already looking for a new book to read that would hopefully leave me feeling more satisfied than this one did.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars nice story idea, but too lightweight for my taste March 30 2009
By Nim Sudo - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
As you probably know from the product description, this is the story of a woman who is in a coma after a car accident that, we soon learn, was not really an accident. She can hear people talking around her but otherwise can't see or move. In this way she can try to figure out who tried to kill her (as people either don't realize that she can understand them, or don't care since they are planning to finish killing her anyway).

It's a good story idea, but the book is a bit too lightweight for my taste. The characters are kind of one dimensional and spend too much time talking about money and clothes. A bit hard for me to identify with.

It gets somewhat better after the protagonist learns who tried to kill her, and slowly regains the ability to move. There is then a suspenseful race: can she save herself before the villain returns to finish the job?

However I was hoping for something a little more complex. The villain could have been less purely evil. Even better, there could have been more ambiguity and confusion in the protagonist's mind as to what she is really hearing as opposed to what she is dreaming or hearing on TV, with everything then getting more or less cleared up at the end in a series of subtle revelations. (I'm thinking in the direction of the movie Mulholland Drive here.) This could have led to a much more interesting book, although it would have been a lot harder to write and wouldn't sell so many copies.

Anyway, this book is good for a quick, amusing read, if one is either tired from reading more challenging material, or in a high distraction environment.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Still Boring Aug. 15 2010
By ViAmber - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I was very disappointed with this. It's the second book I've read by Ms. Fielding...I'm trying to get a "feel" for this new author in my sphere. (Didn't particularly care for THE WILD ZONE but have to admit I was wowed by the ending.)

From the start in this book, I suspected the suspect. I expected some kind of "twist" to prove me wrong, but was disappointed at the end. The sister was too over-the-top to be believed so it was no surprise that she kinda saved the day. I felt there was too much digressing into Casey's past...details that really did not propel the story or make it more interesting.

Am about to start MAD RIVER ROAD and HEARTSTOPPER. If I'm not satisfied, that's it for me.
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