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Posted June 16, 2010
This is excellent family drama
Septuagenarians Winnie McClelland and Jerry Trevis fall in love. Their respective families are not happy with this development, but his goes viral when he leaves his affluent Chicago home to move in with his love in Hartfield in Upstate New York.
His daughter Annette fears Winnie and her crew will inherit her father's fortune so she sues to take control of his vast assets. Her daughter Rachel pleads with her new wealthy stepfather to pay off the enormous loan she took out to cover her ailing spouse's health-care costs that threaten to bankrupt them. His grandson Chef Avery, a recovering drug addict, asks his grandfather to fund a new restaurant he wants to open. Meanwhile in their grandiose mansion, the newlyweds anger the townsfolk when Winnie considers removing a historical tree to make way for a swimming pool; money will not buy temporary loyalty this time.
This is excellent family drama as the younger generations see the geriatric pair as money and not a human couple. Ironically, Winnie and Jerry add to that belief by their approach to the locals in which money has always bought Trevis loyalty. The various members of the McClelland and Trevis families rotate narration so that the audience understands what each perceives are threats when the elderly duet marry; changing what has been the status quo dynamics for quite awhile. Except for the sex scenes between the newlyweds that fail to flow freely but instead come across as a forced attempt to make a point, readers will enjoy the discerning Commuters.
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Posted September 8, 2010
A wonderful novel!
I loved this novel. I was amazed at how quickly I became invested in the fates of the three narrators. I got caught up in their stories from the very first pages of this novel, rooting for things to go right for them and cringing when they made bad choices. Tedrowe's seamless transitions -- from Avery (a 20-something ex-addict), to Rachel (a 40-something wife and mother), to Winnie (the 78-year-old whose second wedding launches the novel) -- are impressive. Her ability to tell the story through these three very different voices makes this a novel for readers of all ages and genders. Tedrowe is adept at making her readers feel the awkwardness, dislocation, sadness, fear, envy and embarrassment that her characters experience at different points of the novel -- but she is also very generous with second chances. Commuters is an engrossing read and there were passages where Tedrowe's beautiful writing really took my breath away. I wholeheartedly recommend this novel.
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