Still Life: A Novel Paperback – Large Print, Nov 8 2010
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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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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 JoyFielding.com.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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.
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.
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.