Black Out, by Lisa Unger

Black Out by Lisa Unger: Book CoverFinished audio 5-5-11, rating 3/5, fiction, pub. 2009

Unabridged audio 13 hours 24 minutes. Read by Ann Marie Lee

Annie Powers is crazy.  I don’t think I’m spoiling too much by telling you that since the title of the book comes from her spells of losing her memory.  Annie also used to be Ophelia March, daughter of one present parent,  her mother who is in love with a death row convict.  When the convict is released and he and his son are living with Ophelia her once crappy life takes a turn for the worse.  She becomes involved with her new stepbrother, Marlo.  But currently, Annie is a rich wife and mother who has everything she never dreamed possible when she was growing up.

So, does jumping around from past to present annoy you?  If it doesn’t then this book should hold your interest.  Do you like reading books that have no true sympathetic character?  This is the book for you.  As much as I wanted to like Annie/Ophelia the way the story was told made it impossible.  After reading the end of a book do you like knowing what happened?  What was real and what wasn’t?  If so, be prepared to be disappointed.  There were plenty of questions at the end, enough to make me rethink some of my basic assumptions, and I’m not sure if even a reread would answer them.  At the very least there are so many different stories all tied together so precariously that it feels exciting at first but then becomes a little hard to take seriously.

I liked the audio, but maybe I needed to have more focus (ie not when I’m driving around with Gage) when listening to it.  Maybe being able to read at a slower pace would have helped.  Or maybe I would still be just as confused and ambivalent about Annie/Ophelia.  She was not a warm and fuzzy character.  I liked the story through most of the book, but it had no real wrap up and I need a story that at least lets me think I’ve known what has happened.  The end had the potential to save the story but instead I was really disappointed.

I checked the audio out of the library.