Commuters by Emily Gray Tedrowe – Book Review

Commuters by Emily Gray Tedrowe

Winnie McClelland and Jerry Trevis’s families aren’t particularly happy when they marry in their 70s. Jerry’s daughter in particular feels that she is being abandoned – or that her family’s fortune is going to abandon her, she doesn’t seem to have fully admitted to herself what her motivations are. This, of course, makes things slightly awkward for her son Avery who ends up between Annette and Jerry. The tension with Annette doesn’t just affect Jerry’s side of the family, though, but Winnie’s family too. And, really, Winnie’s daughter Rachel has enough drama going on in her life already. Her husband had a debilitating accident that left him unable to work full time, putting a huge strain on the family’s finances and their marriage.

This was an admirable debut novel. Tedrowe had three narrators of varying ages, genders, and circumstances: Avery, Rachel, and Winnie. The three of them were not even related by blood, although they did all have a connection through Jerry. Tedrowe was able to keep the three narrators distinct and yet interwoven. All of the characters were well-written and realistic, as well as relate-able.

Although the novel was well-written and well-crafted, something about it failed to absolutely wow me. It may have just been me, since I really can’t place my finger on it, but it just didn’t grab me in the way I was hoping it would. It was a character-driven novel, rather than a plot-driven novel and I was interested in the characters, but I didn’t love them enough to get completely caught up in their lives.

I liked this well enough that I will be on the lookout for Tedrowe’s next book and I would recommend this to people looking for a well-written, character-driven novel, but it isn’t my favorite thing I read this year.

Buy this book from:
A local independent bookstore via Indiebound

I read this book as part of a TLC Book Tour.  Check out some of the other tour hosts for more reviews.  Links go to the host’s site, not to their specific review.

Thursday, July 1st: Devourer of Books

Monday, July 5th: My Random Acts of Reading

Tuesday, July 6th: Til We Read Again

Wednesday, July 7th: Books Like Breathing

Tuesday, July 13th: Booksie’s Blog

Wednesday, July 14th: Sara’s Organized Chaos

Thursday, July 15th: Take Me Away

Wednesday, July 21st: Chaotic Compendiums

Thursday, July 22nd: lit*chick

Wednesday, July 28th: Bookstack

Thursday, July 29th: Reading at the Beach

Thursday, August 5th: Life Is A Patchwork Quilt

* These links are all affiliate links. If you buy your book here I’ll make a very small amount of money that goes towards hosting, giveaways, etc.
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9 comments to Commuters by Emily Gray Tedrowe – Book Review

  • I have the same feelings about the novel I just finished, The Embers. It’s entirely character driven as well. There are times in my reading life when I would eat that up. I still enjoyed it, but the “wow” factor wasn’t there. I’ve had my eyes on this book and I think I’ll put it on hold for when characters intrigue me.

  • I appreciate the honesty. There are many books that fall into the category of good but not wow. You kind of get spoiled after awhile, with all the great books we are exposed to. It makes me wonder if I went back and re-read some of the much loved books from my earlier years, if I would still love them…

  • I know the feeling. Sometimes it’s hard to figure out exactly why you didn’t just love a book.

  • At least it was worth reading for the knowledge that this is a writer to keep an eye on.

  • I’ll be keeping an eye out for more from this author….sounds like a good (if not spectacular) debut novel.

  • Kay

    I’ve got my blog tour post ready to go for Monday, but I stopped by here afterward to see about your reaction to COMMUTERS. I think I may have liked it a bit more than you did, but I can relate to what you are saying. I do think this author is one that I will try again.

  • I’m glad it didn’t completely bomb for you, and it must have been decent if you are going to give her books another shot, but I’m sad it wasn’t a hit. Ah well, you can’t win ’em all! Thank for being a part of the tour.

  • Becky

    I am currently reading Commuters right now, and really enjoying it. You say above that the narrators are not related by blood, which is not true. Winnie and Rachel are mother and daughter. I haven’t finished yet, but I am reading it every chance I get, because I find the characters very compelling and the story intriguing.