2) The Westing Game

By: Ellen Raskin

Date Finished: 01.23.12

By Ellen Raskin

“The poor are crazy, the rich just eccentric.”

“All quotations were either from the Bible or Shakespeare.”

An unpredictable millionaire and his non-traditional will.  A seemingly random group of heirs gathered together and led through a game.  The goal: win the inheritance.  All the characters are closer to caricature than reality, but their quirks make the game effective.  Raskin switches the point of view every few sentences which allows for an almost real-time stream of their thoughts.  Although the characters’ actions are larger than life, the reader understands their motivations — usually.

To me, this book is about connections.  Sure, I was curious to know what connected them in the first place, but I found myself more interested in the relationships forming as a result of the game.  And without fully grasping what had happened, every one of them benefited more from the experience than the inheritance.  (Isn’t that always the case?)  The premise is simple: Take sixteen lost and disconnected people, rattle them up a bit, then allow them to discover what makes them shine.

The style is a bit unusual (point-of-view jumping, for one), but flows easily and works well for the story.  It’s nice to take a break from straight narrative sometimes.  And I have a deep admiration for any author who dares to put sixteen plus people in the same room. Overall, it’s a little off the wall, sweet, and not overly complicated.  This is a great book to cleanse the pallet between heavier reads.

At the end of the day: For me

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