Saturday, March 5, 2011

Almost Home by Pam Jenoff

Almost Home by Pam Jenoff
Published 2009 by Washington Square Press
Paperback, 374 pages

Summary: Ten years ago, American Jordan Weiss's idyllic experience as a graduate student and coxswain at Cambridge was shattered when her boyfriend and fellow crewmember, Jared Short, drowned in the River Cam the night before the biggest race of the year. Since that time, Jordan, a State Department intelligence officer, has traveled the world on dangerous assignments but has managed to avoid returning to face her painful memories in England. When her terminally ill friend Sarah asks her to come to London, though, Jordan finds herself requesting a transfer to the one place she swore she'd never go again.

In London, Jordan attempts to settle into her new life, pushing aside her haunting memories and taking on an urgent mission beside rakish agent Sebastian Hodges. Shortly after her arrival, just when she thinks there's hope for a fresh start in England, she is approached by a former college classmate who makes a startling assertion. He tells her that Jared's death was not an accident, but that he was murdered.

Jordan quickly learns that Jared's death was indeed not an accident, and that his research on World War II had uncovered a shameful secret. But powerful forces with everything to lose will stop at nothing to keep the past buried. Soon, Jordan finds herself in grave peril as she struggles to find the answers that lie treacherously close to home, the truth that threatens to change her life forever, and the love that makes it all worth fighting for. (From

My Thoughts: I had high expectations for this book, seeing as how Pam Jenoff is a well-liked author with many people saying what an excellent writer she is. I purchased the book, intrigued by the description of the book, and was anxious to begin reading. The book started off well, drawing the reader in as we wonder what happened in England all those years ago that would make Jordan never want to return. Also, her position as an intelligence officer sets the reader up for a mystery, a novel that is sure to be a thriller.

While reading the book, I felt like I knew little about Jordan. Jenoff goes back in time at some points throughout the novel, allowing the reader to glimpse into Jordan's life with Jared and her college days at Cambridge. Even with these little scenes, I felt like I really didn't know who Jordan was. She never really developed as a character and I was continually reading, hoping that the next page would bring some insight, some information on who Jordan really was.

The book is a thriller, but it didn't have me turning the pages as quickly as I normally would during a mystery/thriller book. There was no pull from the book, no need to figure out what was really happening in the plot. I feel like the mystery was never truly explained, which was a big reason why I didn't feel the "pull", that tug you get from a true thriller where you can't put the book down and can't turn the page quickly enough to figure out what happens!

I did enjoy Jenoff's writing style, as it was very easy to follow and easy to come back to. I am interested in reading her other books since they don't seem to be thrillers, so I think I might enjoy them more. If you are looking for a thriller, I would look elsewhere.

My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the honest review. I just reviewed this book, and felt the same concerns. Ultimately I didn't think Jordan's character was believable.

    Great post. Glad to know I'm not alone.