Monday, August 21, 2017

Audio Book Review: Gray Mountain by John Grisham

Gray Mountain by John Grisham book cover and review
It's been a while since I've read a John Grisham, and while I enjoyed Gray Mountain, it wasn't a typical, heart-pounding drama like The Firm (one of my favorites of his.)

Gray Mountain is the story of a person, Samantha Kofer, not of a dramatic court case.  Samantha has been laid off from her mega law firm in New York because of the recession. She is working as an unpaid intern for a legal aid clinic in back woods Appalachia. Throughout the book, Samantha is deciding if she wants to return to New York and make a lot of money in a city she loves working at a job she hates, or stay in Brady, Virginia, where she feels like she can really help some people, but there's no social life and little opportunity for a large salary.

From the beginning, a savvy reader will know where Samantha is going to end up, but not exactly how she will reach this decision.  Grisham writes well and makes it interesting.  There are several other very interesting characters and a surprising twist in the middle of the book. The horrors of the coal industry, which if Grisham has done his usual research are mostly true, are horrifying and heartbreaking.  So there is an "issue" here, but not one large case filled with courtroom intrigue.

We get an ending for Samantha--a decision.  But there isn't any real closure to the many other side stories and cases that are outstanding  I've seen some reviewers who wonder if there will be another story about Samantha so we can find the answers that are missing from Gray Mountain, but nothing from Grisham.

The audiobook is narrated by Catherine Taber, who is a bit slow paced, but not enough for me to speed it up. All of her southern accents sound the same, so once in a while, I got confused about which character was speaking, but once again, it wasn't too big of a problem.

Gray Mountain is a worthwhile read, but a bit different that Grisham's usual courtroom sagas.

Published by Doubleday, 2014, audio book by Random House
Audiobook obtained from the library
480 pages

Rating: 3.5/5

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  1. I liked that this one was different from his others and bringing the plight of coal country to a book was interesting and important.

  2. I haven't read Grisham in a long time. I think I'll pick up this one. A change of pace from his usual might be just the thing!


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