Official Review: Cooperative Lives by Patrick Finegan

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Official Review: Cooperative Lives by Patrick Finegan

Post by mmm17 »

[Following is an official review of "Cooperative Lives" by Patrick Finegan.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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The lives of a group of neighbors in a high-end, high-rise building in New York City constitute the center of the plot of Cooperative Lives, written by Patrick Finegan. George Wallace (Wally) and Hannah (Hanni) are a divorced couple that split-up after the tragic loss of their daughter Alya. Their lives get intertwined with the Roberts: Jack, Susan, and Melissa are husband, his much younger second wife, and daughter. Nothing is quite what it seems in this surprising novel that involves loss, espionage, embezzlement, and betrayal.

Hanni is the focal point of the book, and the other characters have links to her in one way or another. Originally from Turkey, her actual name is Hanife – a multilayered, mysterious woman of Kurdish origin. Having been exposed to toxins in her home town, she blames herself for Alya's leukemia. Mildred is also a captivating, strong female character whom I enjoyed. The author masterfully portrays this witty eighty-year-old writer who plays an essential part in the end. But I won't give away any spoilers!

New York City is much more than a setting in this story. The author cleverly weaves numerous well-constructed and subtle references to the city in the plot. New York’s history, geography, distinctive features, and inhabitants’ lifestyles are all part of the narrative. I appreciated these characterizations. For instance, Wally is “conditioned like every New Yorker to look down in the elevator, to not meet a stranger’s gaze in the subway, to avoid eye contact unless absolutely necessary.”

I was positively impressed with the author’s writing style. The portrayal of Alya’s suffering and death is just devastating. The author conveys the parent’s despair and helplessness with the little girl’s terrible disease in a dramatic, intense, and almost poetic way. Alya’s agony nearly brought me to tears. Moreover, the way the author pieced together an initially fragmented plot kept me hooked. It felt like solving a puzzle.

In closing, I rate the book 3 out of 4 stars. It is fairly well-edited. Most of the errors I noticed were minor punctuation issues that do not detract from the reading experience. I am taking a star away because I felt that the author overused vulgar language and profanity. In my opinion, the book would be better without this. Adult readers who enjoy realistic drama with plot twists will enjoy this book; those who are put off by foul language might not like it. I don’t think the book is appropriate for teenagers.

Cooperative Lives
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Post by rumik »

Wow, this sounds really cool! I love strong female characters and don't mind profanity either, I think I'd probably enjoy this. Thanks for the review!
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Post by kandscreeley »

I love a book that surprises me, especially in a good way. This sounds quite interesting to me. The vulgar language makes me pause, but it is intriguing enough to make me think about it anyway. Thanks.
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Post by Chrystal Oaks »

This sounds like an intriguing novel with an intricate plot covering themes that are not usually found together. I don't like the vulgar language, but I'll deal with it because it really sounds like a great book. I enjoyed reading your awesome review. Thanks!
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Post by Tomah »

A novel filled with both high-stakes secrets and personal drama seems to fit my tastes quite well. I usually don't mind vulgar language, though I can see how its overuse could feel grating to some readers. It's good to know the book is professionally edited; too many authors fail to perform due diligence in that regard. Thanks for the review!
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Post by Wriley »

Quite the intriguing book it seems. I like the unexpected in a book. I could not imagine living in a place that I was afraid to make eye contact but I'm from the South and we are the opposite of reserved for the most part. This seems to be a book about lose but it seems that it's not. Depth is a good thing in books and this book has depth, it seems.
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Post by Meg98 »

It sounds like an interesting read, but I am a bit skeptical about the profanity and vulgarity. It really does detract from a good book when it is overused. Thanks for this great review!! :)
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Post by kdstrack »

You have me intrigued about the role of Mildred, the witty eighty-year-old! Your writing does an excellent job of presenting this compelling story! Thanks for the interesting recommendation.
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Post by Joy Catap »

Thanks for the review. At first I thought it's a crime fiction. I don't usually enjoy dramas but I might give this one a try. What gendre is this? Is this drama? I just want to confirm.
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Post by Sharon2056 »

Great Review I've read the book and its really captivating. I do like a strong female character as well.
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