Monday, September 28, 2009

Blog Tour and Book Review #20: THE PROMISED WORLD by Lisa Tucker

Pub. Date: September 2009
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group
Format: Hardcover, 336pp
Sales Rank: 7,891
ISBN-13: 9781416575382
ISBN: 1416575383

Synopsis (from the publisher):
Lisa Tucker captures the hidden heart of the modern family. In her widely acclaimed novels, she has established her unique gift for depicting the bewildering nature of love, the poignant quest to belong, and the deep desire for a place to call home.

Now from the bestselling author of
The Cure for Modern Life and Once Upon a Day comes a riveting story of suspense about a literature professor whose carefully constructed life is shattered after the death of her twin brother and the unraveling of the secret world they shared.

On a March afternoon, while Lila Cole is working in her quiet office, her twin brother Billy points an unloaded rifle out of a hotel window, closing down a city block. "Suicide by police" was obviously Billy's intended result, but the aftermath of his death brings shock after shock for Lila when she discovers that her brilliant but troubled twin — the person she revered and was closer to than anyone in the world — was not only estranged from his wife, but also charged with endangering the life of his middle child and namesake, eight-year-old William.

As Lila struggles to figure out what was truth and what was fiction in her brother's complicated past, her job, her marriage, and even her sanity will be put at risk. And when the hidden meaning behind Billy's stories comes to light, she will have to act before Billy's children are destroyed by the same heartbreaking reality that shattered her protector and twin more than twenty years ago.

A love song to the redemptive power of books and stories, The Promised World is a mesmerizing tale of intimacy, betrayal, and lost innocence that will haunt readers long after they haveturned the final page.

My rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

My thoughts:

THE PROMISED WORLD by Lisa Tucker is certainly a haunting and disturbing story but one well worth taking on. This story proves Tolstoy's famous opening line of ANNA KARENINA: 
Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. The dysfunctional home in which Lila and her twin brother Billy grew up is unlike any other. But just what happened to them is so deeply buried that even Lila is unaware of the exact truth. Lila is a professor of literature, and she finds solace and security in American fiction. As becomes clear pretty quickly, she has found solace and security in a fictionalized past as well. After Billy commits "suicide by police" she begins to take apart their past piece by piece as she searches for answers as to exactly what drove Billy to this crushingly cruel final act.

Told from several different viewpoints, THE PROMISED WORLD examines how the same events can be experienced and interpreted differently by each individual involved. The suspense of discovering the truth kept me turning page after page. I didn't always like the characters, and I sometimes had a little trouble keeping the storyline straight. However, Lisa Tucker does a great job of sorting out the various perspectives and infusing her characters with realistic flaws and and tender frailties. Eventually, I had a lot of sympathy and understanding for all of the characters, and THE PROMISED WORLD ultimately has an optimistic resolution.   

This was my first Lisa Tucker novel, but I'm making room on my TBR List for all four of her previous books.  If you like psychological fiction and suspense or family dramas, I would recommend that you read THE PROMISED WORLD.

Click here to read an excerpt.

Click here to visit the author's website.

About the author (from the publisher):
Lisa Tucker is dedicated to the craft of telling a good story. Her novels are heartfelt tales of family struggles with universal themes, but readers will also be delighted to know that they’re also ripping good page-turners. Tucker’s multi-layered approach to storytelling has generated many fans and glowing reviews.

Click here to read Meet the Author on the Barnes & Noble website.

Thank you to Lisa at TLC Book Tours
for organizing this tour
and supplying me with my review copy.


Jo-Jo said...

This does sound like an amazing novel. Thanks for the review...I'm definitely adding it to my list!

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

I'm glad you seemed to enjoy this book. I does sound good.

Anonymous said...

Gwendolyn, what a terrific review! I like psychological thrillers and this one sounds great. Thanks so much for the time and effort that went into reading and reviewing The Promised World! It is much appreciated.

Zibilee said...

I have heard so much about this book lately, and you are the first that mentions that this is a psychological thriller. I love those types of books, and think that it sounds great. I am going to be putting this on my wish list after hearing so much praise for it. Thanks, and great review!

bermudaonion said...

Wow! Poor Lila - her life sounds like a nightmare. I'm looking forward to reading this.

ImageNations said...

though i am not a family man yet, i think i would enjoy reading this. Thanks for the review...