Book Reviews,  Realist Fiction

Book Review: Alpha Bette

Alpha BetteAlpha Bette by Jennifer Robbins Manocherian
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

What a strange book. Enjoyable, but odd. With each new chapter, we change the point of view, rotating through what’s happening with eight characters, all just trying to get though the day. I said ‘the day’ since this entire story takes place on one particular day in New York City. A 95 year old widowed woman named Bette Gartner has set the events of this day into motion, whether or not the people caught up in her plans like it or not.

I don’t like to go into particulars about plots when I write reviews, as that diminishes your experience of having the story unfold for you. I will talk about the characters, though. I found each and every one of them interesting in their own particular way. They are all singularly unique, spanning a variety of ages, lifestyles, and backgrounds.

I’ve given this book three stars based on what I felt was an abrupt conclusion. It was satisfying in theory, but I would have liked to have dwelled on the last scene much longer. I was left with the impression that the writer suddenly realized she’d left the stove on and rushed off.

In spite of that, if you are a people-watcher and enjoy being a voyeur into other people’s lives, you’ll enjoy this people-centric oddity!

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Lori Alden Holuta lives between the cornfields of Mid-Michigan, where she grows vegetables and herbs when she’s not writing, editing, or playing games with a cat named Chives.

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