When I read a book I expect a range of things. A good story, credible characters, an emotional journey. I like a mystery or a thriller. I like family stories or tales of friendship gone awry. I’m not hard to please but I know what I like.
Sometimes, when I read a book, something wonderful happens. In amidst the perfect storytelling there is a Jaw Dropping Moment. I don’t mean a surprise or a revelation I mean a moment when I sit back and gasp and a thrill runs through me as the writer takes me to another place, shows me another level of human frailty.
I have three examples of this.
FINGERSMITH by Sarah Walters A Victorian melodrama. A terrific read and in the middle there is a moment where I am floored by a plot development. I read on, I turn back. I read on. I am puzzled. I think hard. The penny drops and my smile is wide enough to post the book through.
IN THE DARK by Deborah Moggach This is a fantastic book. It’s set in England during the First World War and is about the people who live in a lodging house. It’s sexy and passionate and at the same time it recreates the genteel poverty of people who lived in such a place. There is a plot development in this book that made me stamp my feet with glee and then shrivel up with embarrassment for previous happenings. It’s stayed with me ever since I read it and it was truly Jaw Dropping.
THE SENATOR’S WIFE by Sue Miller This is a lovely book. A story of a woman who has done everything for the man she loves while retaining her pride and sense of worth. At the end there is one of those moments. I gasp. It can’t be. I close my eyes and think of what human beings are capable of. I shake my head. A thoroughly satisfying (if unsettling) read.
Any other ideas for Jaw Dropping Moments in books?