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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Commuters by Emily Gray Tedrowe

Commuters: A Novel (P.S.)Publisher: Harper Perennial
ISBN: 0061859478
Pages: 400 pgs
Genre: Drama-Family
Challenges-Read’n’Review Challenge, 100+ Reading Challenge

Publisher’s Description:
At seventy-eight, Winnie Easton has finally found love again with Jerry Trevis, a wealthy Chicago businessman who has moved to the small, upstate town of Hartfield, New York, to begin his life anew. But their decision to buy one of the town's biggest houses ignites anger and skepticism—as children and grandchildren take drastic actions to secure their own futures and endangered inheritances. With so much riding on Jerry's wealth, a decline in his physical health forces hard decisions on the family, renewing old loyalties while creating surprising alliances. 

A powerfully moving novel told from alternating perspectives, Commuters is an intensely human story of lives profoundly changed by the repercussions of one marriage, and by the complex intertwining of love, money, and family. 

My Review:
I must say that I started the book out with a small amount of trepidation. I knew the book was about conflicts about money and property as well as a blending of two families. Usually all of these things bring quite a bit of petty drama and squabbling with them and I was not looking forward to that. I was expecting the characters to be little more than obnoxious, money-grubbers. But that was not at all what this novel was about—and I was pleasantly surprised.  The Commuters felt almost like sneaking a peek into a lighted house in the dark with the curtains open. You know it’s wrong but you can’t help it. 

The characters in The Commuters were not as obnoxious or money-grubbing as I thought they were going to be. They were all human and imperfect. They had their moments of selfishness and pure obnoxiousness but it was easy to sympathize with and like them.  Winnie and Rachel were, for the most part great characters. There were little things that they did that really needled me. Winnie seemed to ignore the fact that her daughter was having money problems. She barely even seemed to notice or care. Rachel, upon receiving money from Jerry, had barely paid off her outstanding bills when she decided to go on a spending spree for clothing for her children.  Wouldn’t it have made more sense to save that money? Avery, Jerry’s grandson, was my favorite character. He was a genuinely good guy. He had an amazingly witty and intelligent sense of humor. I loved reading his chapters.  

I loved the way the narration style only adds to the story. Would The Commuters have been as great if told from only one point of view? Probably not. Each person’s perspective was essential. Rachel, Winnie and Avery all had such interesting and unique voices. I wanted to hear what each of them had to say. I have to admit that sometimes while reading books with changing point of views, I sometimes skip the character I like the least but I did not feel the need to do that with this one. 

The Commuters was an elegantly written novel that was a pleasure to read. I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a good yet not to heavy drama.
*A copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher for review. My opinion is my own and has not been influenced in any way and any monies made from associate or affiliate accounts are recycled back into the blog.


  1. Wow, great review of a book I might not have looked twice at before but will now seriously consider!

  2. I just did a blog tour on this book also and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised also. It was a really great put together novel:) Lovely review.

  3. I totally agree. I was borderline floored by it. I tried to temper my gushing in the review. Don't know how well I succeeded.

  4. You do not have any idea how happy that just made me!

  5. You are not the first to say that reading this book was like peeking in someone's window - the book must really have that feeling to it!

    Thanks for being a part of the tour - I'm glad you enjoyed this one despite your early trepidation. :)

  6. This sounds really good. I just might have to give it a try.



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