BOOK REVIEW: Conundrum

“A happily married man with three small children decides one day he no longer wants to live. He gives himself leukaemia and nine months later is dead.

This is the conundrum Lisa Sitteroff is determined to solve regarding her dead father–the tale her mother, Ruth, told Lisa and her two brothers, Rafferty and Neal, throughout their childhood. But Lisa, now thirty and watching Raff suffer from the ravages of bipolar illness, believes if she can solve this puzzle, she might somehow save her brother. For Raff’s pain is intrinsically tied up with feelings of parental abandonment.”

When I hear a riddle, there is a burning desire within me to know its answer as quickly as possible. I cannot let it rest until I know. I once spent an entire afternoon trying to figure out “The Triangle Game”. If you don’t know the one I am referring to, don’t ask – it will drive you nuts trying to unravel it.

This is the best way I would describe Conundrum by C.S. Lakin, the only difference being that you don’t have to figure it all out by yourself – eventually the answers will unfold if you read on until the end of the book.

I love trying to figure out a story before all is revealed – it’s like a race of cleverness against my fellow readers. I admit that in the case of Conundrum, I did not succeed. Well played, C.S. Lakin.

Whilst I felt the character and settings lacked embellishment and I cared very little about the success of the main character, it was the conundrums that kept this story going.

I regret listening to this as an audio book. The narrator, Sandy Vernon, rather ruined my experience of the story. From her depiction of the character voices and that time when one character had emphysema and she spoke the dialogue with lots of huffing and puffing in between, not to mention her singing the included song verses. It was particularly grating and cringe-worthy.

Narrator aside, this story is serious and rather sad. It deals with a lot of issues from depression, to infertility, to infidelity. I would recommend it for a more mature audience.

Title: Conundrum
Author:  C. S. Lakin
Type: Fiction
Category: Mystery
Publisher: Ubiquitous Press
Publication Date: 2012
Edition: 1
ISBN:  978-1594746031

three stars out of five


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