Book Review: Fragile – Lisa Unger

Title: Fragile: A Novel
Author: Lisa Unger
ISBN: 9780307393999
Pages: 336
Release Date: August 3, 2010
Publisher: Shaye Areheart Books
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Mystery
Source: Publicist
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Summary:

When Maggie lived in The Hollows as a teen, all she could think about was getting away from stifling small town life.  But now, as an adult, she’s settled down with her husband Jones in The Hollows and is raising her own child, a teenage boy named Rick.  When Rick’s girlfriend Charlene goes missing, everyone is convinced she’s a runaway, but Jones and Maggie aren’t so sure.  After all, years ago, another girl named Sarah disappeared, and everyone treated her as a runaway until they found her body.  Investigating Charlene’s disappearance and trying to figure out exactly what happened shakes up the town of The Hollows, and in the process, long-buried secrets begin to come to light.

Review:

I’ve really enjoyed Lisa Unger’s previous novels (such as Die For You), so I was eager to pick up her newest book, Fragile.  I was also very intrigued.  Unger’s books are traditionally solid mystery novels, yet Fragile seemed more like a work of contemporary fiction, with mystery and suspense weaved through it.  I was eager to see how Unger tackled this change in genre, and whether this book would prove to be as gripping as her previous novels.

Fragile was indeed incredibly different, yet I really enjoyed it.  Unger shows off different talents in this book.  Her ability to weave a complex and gripping storyline is as wonderful as ever, but everything is incredibly realistic.  Often with Unger’s novels, the reader has to suspend their sense of disbelief in order to truly immerse in the story, yet Fragile does not have that quality.  Instead, the novel rings disturbingly true; the reader can picture these events unfolding in any small town across the United States.

The characters in Fragile are incredibly well-developed.  Since the story line is slower paced than a traditional mystery, Unger could take the time to really let the reader get to know the people in this novel.  My personal favorite character was Maggie.  I appreciated how she tried so hard and invested herself in everything she did, whether it was being a mother, a wife, or a psychiatrist.  She genuinely wanted to help people and it bothered her when she couldn’t. 

Fragile was a thoroughly enjoyable novel that was a great departure from Unger’s previous works.  Though I do hope she does continue with her mysteries, I loved this blend of contemporary fiction and suspense.  The storyline was intriguing, with explosive revelations as the novel progressed, yet the center of the novel wasn’t the mystery but the characters in the book.  Unger did a solid job with this one, and I’ll definitely be picking up her next book no matter what genre she chooses to write.

Comments

  1. I’ve never read anything by this author but it sounds like this is a good place to begin, since I prefer less mystery and more literary in a book.

  2. I’ve never read anything by this author but it sounds like this is a good place to begin, since I prefer less mystery and more literary in a book.

  3. This is going on my wish-list. Thanks for sharing your review.

  4. This is going on my wish-list. Thanks for sharing your review.

  5. I’ve read a couple of Unger’s books, and you are right, they are solid. They don’t necessarily stick with me forever, but I do sure enjoy reading them.

  6. I’ve read a couple of Unger’s books, and you are right, they are solid. They don’t necessarily stick with me forever, but I do sure enjoy reading them.

  7. I doe really appreciate realistic characters and situations, so this book sounds very interesting to me.Though I have not yet read a book by Unger, It does sound like I should soon! Glad you had such a good experience with it!

  8. I doe really appreciate realistic characters and situations, so this book sounds very interesting to me.Though I have not yet read a book by Unger, It does sound like I should soon! Glad you had such a good experience with it!

  9. I started this last night, so I’m glad to see you loved it.

  10. I started this last night, so I’m glad to see you loved it.

  11. Ah, I so love well-developed characters. This book sounds good. Thanks for the recommendation!

  12. Ah, I so love well-developed characters. This book sounds good. Thanks for the recommendation!

  13. I’ll be reading this one for a review in September, so I didn’t read your thoughts very carefully at this time. I love character-driven novels though and I’m almost certain this one will work well for me. Anticipation!!

  14. I’ll be reading this one for a review in September, so I didn’t read your thoughts very carefully at this time. I love character-driven novels though and I’m almost certain this one will work well for me. Anticipation!!

  15. I’ve been looking forward to this book since I enjoyed her previous novels. I’m glad to see that you liked it.

  16. I’ve been looking forward to this book since I enjoyed her previous novels. I’m glad to see that you liked it.

  17. Hmm — sounds really intriguing! That cover definitely grabbed my attention, too. A little mystery in my fiction can be a really good thing.

  18. Hmm — sounds really intriguing! That cover definitely grabbed my attention, too. A little mystery in my fiction can be a really good thing.

  19. So glad you liked Fragile so much – I have a review copy on my shelf and just loaded the audio onto my MP3 player.

  20. So glad you liked Fragile so much – I have a review copy on my shelf and just loaded the audio onto my MP3 player.

  21. I love Unger and hope to start this one next week; great review.

  22. I love Unger and hope to start this one next week; great review.

  23. Ooh, you’ve made me excited to get to my copy.

  24. Ooh, you’ve made me excited to get to my copy.

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