What Could Be Saved

On a recommendation from my favorite book blog, Everyday I Write the Book, I checked What Could Be Saved by Liese O’Halloran Schwarz from the library. And, it was an OK read. Additionally, having part of it take place in DC was nice. “Washington, DC, 2019: Laura Preston is a reclusive artist at odds with her older sister Beatrice as their elegant, formidable mother slowly slides into dementia. When a stranger contacts Laura claiming to be her brother who disappeared forty years earlier when the family lived in Bangkok, Laura ignores Bea’s warnings of a scam and flies to Thailand to see if it can be true. But meeting him in person leads to more questions than answers. Bangkok, 1972: Genevieve and Robert Preston live in a beautiful house behind a high wall, raising their three children with the help of a cadre of servants. In these exotic surroundings, Genevieve strives to create a semblance of the life they would have had at home in the US—ballet and riding classes for the children, impeccable dinner parties, a meticulously kept home. But in truth, Robert works for American intelligence, Genevieve finds herself drawn into a passionate affair with her husband’s boss, and their serene household is vulnerable to unseen dangers in a rapidly changing world and a country they don’t really understand. Alternating between past and present as all of the secrets are revealed, What Could Be Saved is an unforgettable novel about a family broken by loss and betrayal, and “a richly imagined page-turner that delivers twists alongside thought-provoking commentary” (Amazon) The reason I only rate it OK, was that it took FOREVER to learn what had actually happened to Phillip, which was annoying. In addition, it was far too long, I thought. I didn’t find his story compleltely believable either. But I didn’t hate it.

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