A Good Book Club Book in Review: Talk to Me

August 7, 2019 Uncategorized 4 ★★★★

A Good Book Club Book in Review: Talk to MeTitle: Talk to Me
Author: John Kenney
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating:four-stars

Summary: A really lovely, feel-good, thought provoking story.

When news anchor Ted Grayson loses it on camera, the impact on his career leaves him with little to value in life. His estranged wife wants a divorce and his equally estranged daughter might be leveraging his downfall to advance her own career in news. As Ted’s world falls apart, it may help him take stock of his life or it might simply drive him further down his current path.

I wanted a feel good book when I picked this up and it definitely gave me that. I loved the author’s ability to quickly bring characters to life by sharing a few unique details about each of them. The dialogue felt real as well. It wasn’t dramatic, but convincingly captured a lot of emotion. Some of the (male) author’s depictions of women’s reactions to Ted’s rant were also really on point.

Although I picked this up for the emotional payoff, it was also really thought provoking. It raised interesting questions about social and traditional media; about public shaming; about feminism; and about mental health. Initially I was a little uncomfortable with the author’s focus on a feminist pile-on that might not have been justified and definitely got out of hand. It would have been easier if the cause used to justify the pile-on hadn’t been one I believe in and one that’s oft maligned. However, at the end of the day, I think that made this story feel more nuanced to me. I think it could lead to some great discussion as a book club pick.

4 Responses to “A Good Book Club Book in Review: Talk to Me”

    • DoingDewey

      I love when I come across convincing dialogue like this! I wish I could identify what makes dialogue click for me, but I’m not yet sure.

  1. Jenny @ Reading the End

    Oooh, I’m trying to decide if I’m interested in this. I constantly need more feel-good books in my life, but I tend to find it frustrating when authors cast feminists as straw-man villains, even if the premise is ultimately handled with care (as it sounds like it is here!).

    • DoingDewey

      Yeah, I kind of wished the author had picked a different group to do the piling on. Given that feminism so often gets misrepresented as being about something other than equality, it seems like punching down to have feminists be the ones over-reacting. That said, I absolutely believe feminists pile-on people, just like any other group online, and it was generally handled well here and it did make me think. I’m not sure if you’d find it more frustrating than enjoyable though!

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