Extraordinary Machine (lisavee) wrote in illiterophobe,
Extraordinary Machine

The Short Life and Mysterious Death of Amy Zoe Mason, by Kristine & Joyce Atkinson

I have a tendency to be reading a few books at a time, so it'll take me a while to finish any one! But let me tell you about this book. I walked into Barnes & Noble (like I usually do on an, oh, weekly basis!) and saw this book on the "new" table. I kid you not, it stuck me in the eye and I was immediately drawn to it, mainly because of it's appearance. It is a journal, recreated. The entire book is supposed to be a journal that a woman created out of an already-existing book. She simply "scrap-booked" over the pages, is the best way I can describe how it looks on the inside. It has become one of my favorites.

Publishers Weekly

This tantalizing "found" journal of a troubled young wife and mother combines the diary of Amy Mason, correspondence, clippings from newspaper accounts and remnants of the 19th-century novel Amy used instead of a blank notebook to frame the story of her disintegrating marriage. Amy's husband, Robert, moves to Boston to head a new cardiology institute, but Amy and her two small children remain behind in Houston, planning to follow later. As the relocation process drags on, Robert throws himself into his new responsibilities and Amy fights a deepening depression. She finds a new friend in her Houston real estate agent, Vanessa Garamond, but the beautiful Vanessa provokes Amy's suspicions with an unannounced trip to Boston. Sisters Kristine and Joyce Atkinson only hint at the occurrence of a crime, and readers will have to draw their own conclusions from the open-ended assemblage of visual and textual clues. Traditional mystery readers may want a more definitive story, but amateur scrapbookers will find inspiration in this collage.

Number One- I am still trying to figure out if this is a true tale or complete fiction. The women have on their website (amyzoemason.com) a section saying that they chose to publish this book under "fiction", even though it is a true story. However, on the inside of the book it says "This is a work of fiction. All names are ficticious" blablabla. I googled some of the location names in the book and came up with nada. The woman's daughter, though, is on MySpace. So yeah... still don't know what to think. B&N states the authors are doing a 5-city tour, but I can't find any info on which 5 cities these are. Help anyone?

Me, I'm the kind of person who enjoys digging into the unknown. I like CSI and mystery stuff (Sherlock Holmes, Agatha Christie), so this was neat. It's not formatted like a regular book. The authors have no inserts of their own opinions anywhere, other than at the end to provide information (mostly newspaper articles) of what happened to the family after Amy's death. I think that the website helps give a clearer picture when visited while reading the book. Regardless of whether this is a true story or not, I found myself really feeling for Amy. I felt sorry for her and shared her suspicions, but afterwards felt kind of angry that she didn't stick up for herself more. Clearly, she was a very repressed woman. Even in her journal- a place one should feel safe to bare their soul- she rarely lets her true feelings be known. Read beneath the XXXXXXs though and you'll get an idea...

The ending is very open-ended. You, as the reader, get to decide for yourself what you think really happened. This is probably the only thing I didn't like. I WANT TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENED! lol... Also, I'm curious to see- if indeed this IS a true story- whether Amy's death will be drawing more attention and someone in a position of authority will make the effort to find out what truly happened.

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