The Dime Box - A Review
Author: Karen Grose
Publisher: Notebook Publishing
Editor: Adrienne Kerr
Publication Date: 2019
As many of you may know, I started a virtual book club in April. We hang out in a private Facebook group and meet weekly on Zoom for all readers caught up on their reading. Indie authors are all we read and every month, the book is divided into 4 segments, one for each week, and we don't read beyond that until after our meeting in order to ensure we are all "on the same page". Our April book club pick was "The Dime Box" by Karen Grose. Everyone who read it had very strong opinions on it and here's mine.
The book is marketed as a mystery and definitely fits within those parameters. Greta Giffen, an 18 year old girl, is accused of killing her father. Readers are witness to her lengthy interrogation from Detective Perez, and Greta takes her time explaining her side of the story, delving into her heartbreaking childhood, and her journey to adulthood as well. Her baggage is laid out on the table for the detective to decipher and we are left with more questions at the end of every story from Greta.
book spanned her entire life. For the most part, I believe that the author wrote the timeline well. There were a few chapters from the middle of the book that were a bit slower, but overall the story moved well from one period of time to the next.
addressed difficult topics including poverty, abuse, and the justice system. I believe the most difficult topic to explore in the story is the abusive situation, which can be very triggering for some people. A few people in my book club actually did find certain scenes difficult to read. However, they expressed, and I agree, that these narratives are important and need to be told in fiction. I felt the author did a good job at keeping it at a level that wasn't too dark while also being realistic.
emphasized importance of relationships. Greta is in a situation that is less than ideal but along the way, she choses friends and allies that provide light to her life. I like that readers are able to conclude that family is who you choose. I especially love the character of Mrs.Xiangzi.
major plot twist at the end. I am usually good at guessing what happens in books. But there is a plot twist at the end that definitely threw me for a loop. I was pleasantly surprised to be surprised.
After much deliberation, I have come to the conclusion that as a character, I don't like Greta. It's weird for me to have the main character be someone I don't care for. I will say that her personality seems to be a byproduct of her environment, but I just don't like her.
I read this on my Kindle application, and the formatting really bothered me. You are unable to go to a certain chapter using the sidebar, which makes it difficult to go back and find something. Hopefully, this is just a simple mistake that can be fixed by the publisher. Obviously, this is not a critique on the book itself.
Favorite Scene: Mrs. Xiangzi meeting Ian and Greta for the first time
"You may not be interested in what other people say, Greta, but be kind because whatever they're telling you is important to them."
Final Thoughts: This book kept me guessing until the end and I found it really pulled me in and wanted me to keep reading. If a book does those two things, it's a hit. I give it 4.5/5 stars.