Dead Letters

Dead Letters

A Novel

eBook - 2017
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"Ava Antipova has her reasons for running away: a failing family vineyard, a romantic betrayal, a mercurial sister, an absent father, a mother slipping into dementia. In Paris, Ava renounces her terribly practical undergraduate degree, acquires a French boyfriend and a taste for much better wine, and erases her past. Two years later, she must return to upstate New York. Her twin sister, Zelda, is dead. Even in a family of alcoholics, Zelda Antipova was the wild one, notorious for her mind games and destructive behavior. Stuck tending the vineyard and the girls' increasingly unstable mother, Zelda was allegedly burned alive when she passed out in the barn with a lit cigarette. But Ava finds the official explanation a little too neat. A little too Zelda. Then she receives a cryptic message--from her sister..."--Book jacket.
Publisher: New York :, Random House,, [2017]
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9780399588860
Characteristics: 1 online resource (332 pages)

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Jun 28, 2017

A missing woman leads her twin sister on a twisted scavenger hunt.

This was a great read. I decided to read the book after seeing a review in Library Journal, which gave it a starred-review. (Publishers Weekly also gave it a starred-review.) Some have compared the book to Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl, which I have also read, but I think Dead Letters is much better. I intend to post reviews on Amazon and Google Books, even though I rarely post reviews, no matter how good (or bad) I thought something was. That's how good Dead Letters is, in my opinion. I also intend to email friends with my very strongest recommendation.

Jun 02, 2017

OK, so Ms Dolan-Leach is a very crafty writer; she has concocted a clever book, probably best categorized as an abecedarius (google "constrained writing" if you care about such things). It's a sort-of mystery but I would tend to classify it as a printed soap opera; i.e. somewhat trashy story, very trashy characters who richly deserve all the grief that befalls them. Twin sisters who are amoral, vicious, manipulative alcoholics, as are their parents. You can tell I dislike these people. I don't doubt that many readers will enjoy the book; I found it at times infuriating for the reasons just mentioned. It contains just enough intrigue to have kept me reading though to the end but I found myself skipping along quickly, glossing over a lot of stuff, eager to get it over with.

Mar 27, 2017

Ava Antipova is living in France when she receives word that there has been a fire at her family's winery in upstate New York and her twin sister is missing, presumed dead. Or is she? Ava had moved to France to escape her dysfunctional alcoholic family, leaving her sister to take care of their ill mother. Now, Ava gets led on a scavenger hunt to try to figure out what happened.

The end was a little unsatisfying, but I enjoyed the book overall.

Feb 23, 2017

Just a heads up. I realize marketing depts. try to cast the widest net to gain readers but this is NOT a thriller. It's a well written family saga that looks unsparingly at the effects of alcoholism & extreme disfunction with a little mystery thrown in.

Jan 18, 2017

Such a smart and suspenseful book! I felt my heart rate rising with each new clue in Zelda’s game, and between surprising twists, not knowing what those twists meant, and a possibly unreliable narrator (this question kept me on my toes!), I truly did not know what would happen next. At first I wasn’t sure I wanted to spend time in this very dark and dysfunctional world, but the more I got to know the vivid and flawed characters and got into the game, the more I did not want to stop reading. The language is pretty flowery at times, but I enjoyed the verbosity; it felt appropriate for the indulgent and clever twins and I thought it made the book a pleasure to read. I would definitely recommend it to fans of mysteries, literary fiction, or readers looking for something a little unusual, so long as they don’t mind some dysfunction.

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