Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Reservoir: My Thoughts Are In A Whirl!

I just finished The Reservoir last night, and it is one of those books where you are constantly second guessing yourself.  Did he do it, or didn't he?  

I must confess that when I first started this novel, I was convinced Tommie did murder Lillian.  Told from his perspective, he takes great pains to cover his tracks, remain calm, and not give anything away.  So as a reader, you are lead into this story believing he's got something to hide.

As the story progresses, Lillian is identified, and rumors swirl about a young man who was meeting her at her hotel the night of her death.  Lillian's father, a rather horrid man (who is accused by more than one person of sexually abusing Lillian) points the finger at Tommie, and does everything he can to get Tommie arrested.  Who's the father of Lillian's unborn child?  And why did she end up in the reservoir?  

That this novel was based on an actual sensational murder case in Richmond, Virginia in 1885 gives this story  an unusual slant.  That we can search the internet and find articles and blogs about this murder is incredible.  But did Tommie do it?  We will never know.  And Tommie's character doesn't help but muddy the waters. At first, I thought he did it.  Then, after the guilty verdict, he tells his brother what really happened--that Lillian wanted to kill herself, and slipped on the snow, hit her head, and fell into the reservoir.  But then a bit later, he tells a different tale--that maybe he did hit her in the head, and push her into the reservoir.  By the end of the novel, you have to decide for yourself whether an innocent man was put to death, or if he was guilty.  I can't say for sure what I think is the truth, and that's what makes this such a fascinating story.  With today's forensic technology, would anything new have been discovered?   Tests certainly would have been done to see if the baby was Tommie's.  That would have been motive.  Who knows?  

If you haven't read The Reservoir, I recommend it.  It's a great courtroom drama; a tale of human desires, needs, and desperation.  And most of all, it's about making choices that will ripple through not only your life, but history.  I can see why the author became so fascinated with this murder case.  

Next week I will be posting a few titles that are in my "to be read" pile, along with some discussion questions for reading groups--and what makes each title a great reading group choice!  

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Reading For The Next Two Months And Beyond!

I'm currently reading The Reservoir, and enjoying it.  You know from the start who the killer is, and follow along the winding road towards the final outcome.  I'm hoping to have it finished by the end of this week!

Anyway, I'm either picking terrible books, or this blog has gone the way most book clubs go--great enthusiasm at the beginning, then a gradual decline in participants to where only a very few still read the books each month! I guess I thought if no one actually had to drive anywhere to meet, it would be more successful.  Take the pressure off people to make time for a specific time and date and place to be.  Sadly, I was wrong.  
  I am the sort of reader who will make time to read a book--especially if I feel that it's something I've committed to--I guess that's still a holdover from college days.  After all, I did read Wolf Hall last year, and it just about killed me.  Uggh.  For a book club.  And guess what?  No one else finished it.  But I'm glad I did--enough to know I can speak about it to other people who may be interested in it, and have some time to kill--it's a doozy.  

So with this in mind, I am shaking off my disappointment, and starting in November I will be posting a book or two a month that I'm reading, and adding some questions/author information/background on the book, along with my view of the book.  It's still a book club--if anyone else wants to read along with me, please join in and comment on my posts.  I won't end this blog, since I do enjoy it.  I may be reading some fun stuff, some teen stuff; who knows?  

I hope you'll join me.  

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

An Article About The Reservoir Murder

I am going to start reading The Reservoir this week, so I've been doing some internet research on the actual murder that this novel is based upon.  Here's a newspaper article published in 1885--this murder was a sensation in Virginia at the time.  Can you imagine the circus this would have been if they had the media outlets we have today?

Murder in Virginia

Sunday, October 2, 2011

It's October! Time to Read The Reservoir

It's October, and that means another new book for us to read.  This month's pick is The Reservoir by John Milliken Thompson.  A young woman's body is found in a reservoir in 1885 in Richmond, Virginia.  Was it a suicide or a murder?  Who is the young woman?  Part mystery, part thriller, and based on a true murder case, this one has received great reviews and the "unputdownable"  label from quite a few reviewers.  I can't wait to dig in!  

Start your reading--I will announce the November pick sometime this week.