Book Review: Little Bird of Heaven by Joyce Carol Oates

When Zoe Kruller is brutally murdered, suspicion centers on her estranged husband, Delray Kruller, and on Eddie Diehl, a married man with whom she was involved.  While it's titillating gossip for the local area, the murder is devastating for the families, particularly their children.  The book is divided into two main sections, from the perspective of Eddie Diehl's daughter and Zoe Kruller's son, and covers the time before the murder as well as the way the childrens' lives unfold.  Krista Diehl and Aaron Kruller grow up under the shadow of the mystery of Zoe's death, each believing the other's father is to blame and yet drawn to the other.

I've read several of Joyce Carol Oates's books, and I've only really liked one, so I'm not sure why I thought this one would be different.  While I was interested in what happened and in the characters, the story never grabbed me.  I love a book that entices me to stay up all night to finish it; this isn't that book.  At least, not for me.  It is, however, a well-told story with well-drawn characters and, ultimately, an unsatisfying ending.

If you read it/have read it and think differently, let me know.


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