The Cradle by Patrick Somerville Book Review


Marissa is expecting her first child and fixated on securing the same cradle she was once rocked in for her own baby. But her mother, Caroline, disappeared when Marissa was a teenager, and the treasured cradle mysteriously vanished shortly thereafter. Marissa’s husband, Matthew, kindly agrees to try to track down the cradle, which naturally means finding Caroline as well.

In another family, Adam has just joined the Marines and is off to Iraq. His mother, Renee, is terrified of losing him, and furious at both Adam for enlisting and her husband for being so mild-mannered about it all. To further complicate matters, Renee is troubled by the resurfacing of secrets she buried long ago: the memory of her first love, killed in Vietnam, and the son she gave up at birth.

Matt’s search for the cradle takes him through the Midwest, and provides an introduction to a host of oddball characters who’ve been part of Caroline’s life in the intervening years. When he finds the cradle, he also finds an unloved little boy, who will one day reunite a family adrift. A lovely debut novel, The Cradle is an astonishingly spare tale of feeling lost in the world, and the simple, momentous acts of love that bring people home. -via Goodreads


My Thoughts

The Cradle is the first book I have read from Author Patrick Somerville.  It is one of the books I discovered at a College Book Fair I attended about two years ago. I bought it for $0.50- what a steal.  Have I ever mentioned how much I love book fairs and book sales?  Well, I do.  I bought about 8 books that day and I started to read each one- without finishing them.  I will admit, I probably have a whole shelf full of books I have half read.  With the exception of Baby Updates, writing down reviews (obviously) and needing the computer for research, or my cell phone to stay in touch with family etc, I have decided to take a break from most forms of technology for an undetermined amount of time.  This has freed up quite a lot of time and I am now on my third book in four days.  While my plan was to spend more time outside, it has been raining the past few days which makes it perfect weather for staying in and reading.

The Cradle is a very easy read and it was enjoyable.  It is far from being one of my favorites, but it wasn’t as though I felt I wasted time by reading it.  I usually have a hard time with books (and films for that matter), that go back and forth in time and with stories revolving around different characters, but that wasn’t the case this time.  It all flowed together quite nicely and although you could guess how the characters intertwined right from the start, your predictions get confirmed about halfway through the story.  It is easy to like many of the characters and there were a few parts in which it made me laugh out loud.

Overall, I found the entire book predictable but you still wanted to read it all to see how the author has it it all play out.  I will be returning the book to its place in a book fair, or a bookstore in exchange for another read, but I would definitely read another Somerville book in the future, for I highly enjoyed this one.




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