The Qualities of Wood
written by Mary Vensel White
published by HarperCollins Authonomy
Why did I pick this book: I participated in the blog tour hosted by TLC Book Tours. (I received a copy of this book for review purposes.)
Did I enjoy this book: Yes, very much.
Mary Vensel White is to literature what Norah Jones is to music – subtle, haunting, and engaging.
The Qualities of Wood is a murder mystery without car crashes, gunshots, or ballistics experts. It’s more psychological and creepy.
About half way through the book, there’s an exchange between our main character, Vivian, and the dead girl’s mother, Kitty. “The thing is, you looked like her, like my Chanelle.” It sent chills down my arms because that was the moment when I realized this mystery just got way more complicated.
I won’t say anymore about the ending. I enjoyed it. It’s not a quick, easy read so be aware. You’ll need a quiet place to concentrate if you’re going to really get into this storyline.
Would I recommend it: Absolutely. This would be a good book group novel for sure.
About the book: When Betty Gardiner dies, leaving behind an unkempt country home, her grandson and his young wife take a break from city life to prepare the house for sale. Nowell Gardiner leaves first to begin work on his second mystery novel. By the time his wife Vivian joins him, a real mystery has begun: a local girl has been found dead in the woods behind the house. Even after the death is ruled an accident, Vivian can’t forget the girl, can’t ignore the strange behavior of her neighbors, or her husband. As Vivian attempts to put the house in order, all around her things begin to fall apart.
The Qualities of Wood is a stunning novel from an exciting new writer. Perfect for readers of Anne Tyler and Anita Shreve.
About the author: Mary Vensel White was born in LA and graduated from the University of Denver. She lived in Chicago for 5 years where she received her MA at DePaul University. Her short fiction has appeared in The Wisconsin Review and Foothilles Literary Journal. This is her first novel.
Mary Vensel White will be at the following locations in June! If you are in that area, stop by!