Ocean State by Stewart O'Nan

Ocean State
.PDF, 240 pages
Expected Publication: 08 Mar 2022
By: Grove Atlantic, Grove Press

About The Book:
In the first line of Ocean State, we learn that a high school student was murdered, and we find out who did it. The story that unfolds from there with incredible momentum is thus one of the build-up to and fall-out from the murder, told through the alternating perspectives of the four women at its heart. Angel, the murderer, Carol, her mother, and Birdy, the victim, all come alive on the page as they converge in a climax both tragic and inevitable. Watching over it all is the retrospective testimony of Angel's younger sister Marie, who reflects on that doomed autumn of 2009 with all the wisdom of hindsight. Angel and Birdy love the same teenage boy, frantically and single mindedly, and are compelled by the intensity of their feelings to extremes neither could have anticipated.

My Review:
At just 240 pages Ocean State sure does pack a wallop for such a short book. I am a huge Stewart O'Nan fan, he is one of my most read authors, in fact this is my eleventh book by him and he never disappoints. 

I loved how this was written, we know right away there has been a murder and who has done it. After the opening chapter we are taken on the journey that leads up to the murder and the repercussions that follow. The story is told from four different points of view. We have Angel, the accused, her sister Marie, her mother Carol and the victim Birdy. I was intrigued by all the characters and their mind-set. O'Nan writes from the female perspective in a most natural and believable way, I was especially impressed with the narrative from the three young adults. 

Even though this story is centered on a murder it is very much literary fiction. The wonderful writing is very absorbing and sucks you right in, the pacing is fantastic and the plot, while not entirely unique, was written in a way that was completely refreshing. All. The. Stars.

With many thanks to NetGalley, Stewart O'Nan and Grove Atlantic, Grove Press for the giving of the ARC.

#OceanState #NetGalley


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