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Emily Bleeker

Author of Wreckage

10 Works 1,141 Members 77 Reviews

Works by Emily Bleeker

Wreckage (2015) 497 copies, 27 reviews
When I'm Gone: A Novel (2016) 316 copies, 23 reviews
The Waiting Room (2018) 97 copies, 5 reviews
Working Fire (2017) 74 copies, 6 reviews
What It Seems (2020) 59 copies, 7 reviews
When We Were Enemies: A Novel (2023) 55 copies, 3 reviews
What's Left Unsaid (2021) 40 copies, 6 reviews


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Common Knowledge




Daughter of famous actress mother and grandmother is getting wed at a pow camp in Indiana she finds family secrets
Rosemary1973 | 2 other reviews | Jun 11, 2024 |
This type of book isn't my normal fare, but was the monthly pick for one of my book clubs.

The first 40% of the book is a pure page turner. It kind of disintegrates from there. Lillian Linden's mother-in-law, Margaret, wins an all-expenses-paid trip to Fiji and Lillian is the lucky one who gets to join her. The last segment of their trip involves a flight to a private island aboard a small jet. The only people aboard the jet are Lillian and Margaret, Dave (the representative from the company sponsoring the contest), Kent the pilot, and Theresa the flight attendant. The plane crashes and the survivors are left on a deserted island for over 2 years before their rescue.

The story is told from alternating point of view -- Lillian and Dave -- and also jumps between present day and the past. We know from the start that the characters have built their story on lies, and the change in narrator and chronology is supposed to keep the reader guessing the truth from the lies. This works to a degree, except that the plot points are very predictable. The first time a "mystery character" was mentioned I knew exactly who he was, for example. There's a "shocking twist" at the end which seems pretty preposterous.

The characters aren't particularly developed. Kent, for example, is a complete jerk. One might think that if you were trapped on an island with just a few people with no rescue in sight, you might want to find a way to be civil, but that isn't the case here. Lillian's overwhelming guilt over things which aren't her fault gets very annoying.

In sum, I guess this book could be related to one of those bad TV movies. You know it's not very good, but somehow you keep watching. 2.75 stars
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jj24 | 26 other reviews | May 27, 2024 |
The daughter and granddaughter of award-winning actresses Elise Branson avoids the spotlight. When her fiancé encourages her to be part of docuseries about her grandmother, Elise reluctantly agrees. Alternating with the past, Vivian is a small-town girl determined to be a star. She finds work at the nearby POW camp, where she find it hard to reconcile her Italian heritage with the Italian enemy held within.

I did not enjoy the modern day storyline. I did not like Elise and found her to be very tedious. Vivian seemed to lack personality and just fell flat. Overall, not a book I would re-read or recommend.… (more)
JanaRose1 | 2 other reviews | May 8, 2024 |
Working Fire is told in dual timelines, the first is through Ellie’s eyes starting the day she gets a call that there’s been a shooting at her sister Amelia’s address and the second is from Amelia’s point of view six weeks prior. The alternating chapters each have a clear, distinct voice as the sisters were both well drawn and multidimensional, I had a strong sense of both of them as individuals as well as a firm grasp regarding the dynamic of their relationship with each other.

While there is definitely a mysterious element at play here, I don’t think it’s the driving force of the book. Yes, I was super curious about exactly what had happened the day Amelia was shot as well as what events sent things into motion, but at its core this is a novel about family relationships and the secrets that can rip them apart. There’s really not much that interests me more than the bond between sisters and some good old fashioned family secrets and Working Fire had plenty of both. While I wouldn’t describe this as twisty, it did keep me guessing and still surprised me a few times.

There was an emotional component to this, Bleeker has an evocative writing style that makes you care about the characters she creates even if you don’t always understand them. This would be perfect for people who don’t want violence or highly disturbing content in their mysteries, it’s on the lighter side yet still manages to pack a decent punch. The ending especially caught me off guard, it was unexpected and fitting.
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b00kdarling87 | 5 other reviews | Jan 7, 2024 |


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