A Simple Favor

A Simple Favor

Large Print - 2017
Average Rating:
6
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In Bell's convoluted debut, widowed mommy-blogger Stephanie Ward receives a call from her best friend, Emily Nelson, asking her to pick up Emily's five-year-old son, Nicky, from school. There's an emergency at work, Emily explains, but she'll be by to get Nicky no later than 9 p.m. Nicky is best friends with Stephanie's son, Miles, and the boys attend the same suburban Connecticut kindergarten, so Stephanie agrees. Days pass and Emily never appears, leading Stephanie to fear the worst. Emily's husband, Sean, returns home from his European business trip and calls the police, who assume that Emily has simply run away-until her body washes up at her family's lake house in Michigan. Stephanie initially seeks to comfort Sean, but when questions arise surrounding Emily's death, she's left wondering what is true and whom to trust. While Stephanie, Emily, and Sean share the narrative, Stephanie is the primary point-of-view character, and her vacuity and naïveté undercut the story's tension and heft. Bell further squanders an intriguing setup with ill-defined stakes and tired, telegraphed plot twists.
Publisher: ©2017
Waterville, Maine :, Thorndike Press, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning,, 2017.
Edition: Large print edition.
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9781410497949
Characteristics: 463 pages (large print) ; 23 cm.
Summary: In Bell's convoluted debut, widowed mommy-blogger Stephanie Ward receives a call from her best friend, Emily Nelson, asking her to pick up Emily's five-year-old son, Nicky, from school. There's an emergency at work, Emily explains, but she'll be by to get Nicky no later than 9 p.m. Nicky is best friends with Stephanie's son, Miles, and the boys attend the same suburban Connecticut kindergarten, so Stephanie agrees. Days pass and Emily never appears, leading Stephanie to fear the worst. Emily's husband, Sean, returns home from his European business trip and calls the police, who assume that Emily has simply run away-until her body washes up at her family's lake house in Michigan. Stephanie initially seeks to comfort Sean, but when questions arise surrounding Emily's death, she's left wondering what is true and whom to trust. While Stephanie, Emily, and Sean share the narrative, Stephanie is the primary point-of-view character, and her vacuity and naïveté undercut the story's tension and heft. Bell further squanders an intriguing setup with ill-defined stakes and tired, telegraphed plot twists.

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j
jachayden
Sep 13, 2017

Mix the plot of Gone Girl, an open disdain for women who are not mothers (why?), an open disdain for British people (WHY?), and a bit of incest, and you'll get this book.

The main character was so unbelievably stupid I wanted to keep reading on because it made me feel better about myself. I'm not pleased by how self-righteous the character is about being a mother. There's more to life than your 5-year-old. This book also portrays British people, especially British men, as stereotypically dumb, dull, stupid, selfish, cheaters, and self-conscious to the point of not being able to stand up for themselves. As a British person who is verrrry happily childless, I was deeply insulted by the implications of the author and characters throughout the story.

Story starts out a lot like Gone Girl, and ends a lot like Gone Girl, with a whole bunch of not necessarily necessary muddling through the middle. Confusing towards the end.

b
Blabbermouth
Sep 01, 2017

It certainly drew me in & I kept going because I wanted to know how it ended but as I entered further into it I began to find the characters more unbelievable. The gullibility of the friend Stephanie was convincing enough until she started revealing her own secrets and still continued to stay along side even when she had learned nothing was as it seemed. Sean was to weak to be believable but Emily didn't seem completed somehow? It was a mystery that was outside of the box which made it appealing to me.

t
therapymutt
Aug 08, 2017

Gone girl copy

w
wilqser
Jun 01, 2017

Totally disappointment here - just a waste of time. No character integrity - even their flaws are unbelievable; no plausible plot line; unrealistic cop procedure; and a storyline that leaves you up in the air. Not one of the best books I've read so far - to put it mildly.

AL_KATI Apr 17, 2017

I was drawn in right away, but about halfway through I figured out what was going to happen. There have been a lot (A LOT) of unreliable narrators in fiction recently, so this one didn't feel as fresh as I would have liked.

g
gogo12127
Mar 31, 2017

I read just over seventy pages of this. I just could not get into it. The self-absorbed narrator of the story was a total bore and really got on my nerves. Someone else might have a different take, though.

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