I’m excited to welcome My Friend Amy to Word Lily today!
I’ve heard people sing the praises of Rene Gutteridge for a long time, and so when Hannah announced she was hosting a Rene Gutteridge week, I volunteered to read my first book by her. Since Listen was the only novel I had handy, that’s the one I went for.
The town of Marlow is facing a big challenge. Someone is recording their private conversations and posting them word for word on an anonymous website. Since most people are hard-pressed to guard their tongues in private, some pretty nasty stuff is showing up and tearing apart relationships. Everyone is on edge, never knowing what people think of them, but also secretly devouring every nasty secret on their computer screens.
We enter into this world via a small family, Damien and Kay and their two children, Jenna and Hunter. The family itself is facing some conflict. Damien is a bit bored with his career and wants to change things up, Kay is feeling insecure in her friendships with the mothers of her daughter’s friends, and Jenna and Kay are also constantly at odds. As things escalate in the town and dangerous things start to happen, the family finds themselves pulled together in new ways even as the outside threat grows dark.
I’ve been wanting to read Listen for while because the premise was irresistible. Ever since a day in middle school when I was at a concert with a friend complaining about my teacher and my teacher was RIGHT BEHIND ME, I’ve been really really careful about talking about people in public places. Listen takes the threat even further since many of the recorded conversations take place within homes.
While Gutteridge doesn’t explore the idea of “how do we really know someone” as much as I’d like, I found Listen to be a fast and entertaining read. I was greatly amused by some of the humor, such as when one character describes the start of the demise of his marriage the night he brought fried chicken home on his anniversary. The faith message is subtle but present and even the pastor doesn’t escape some suspicion in the crime.
I recommend Listen to anyone looking for a quick, enjoyable read that also deals with some heavier topics and is not devoid of meaning.
Thanks to Hannah for hosting Rene Gutteridge Week and pushing me to finally read some of her work!
Thanks so much, Amy! I’m glad you enjoyed your first taste of Gutteridge — and that you decided to share that with us.
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