I recently finished John Grisham’s newest novel “Gray Mountain.” I have enjoyed all of Grisham’s novels. I read all of them as soon as they come out and are available at the library. His early legal thrillers were gripping and exciting and deserved to be made into blockbuster movies. I also enjoyed John Grisham’s sidetrips into novels that told a less thrilling but gripping story about human lives, such as “Calico Joe” and “Playing for Pizza.”
Unfortunately, “Gray Mountain” is not one of Grisham’s better efforts. It started off as another legal thriller, and I thought Grisham was returning to his roots in literature. But “Gray Mountain” soon devolved into an issue novel, with the issue being Mountain Top Removal mining in Virginia. Although I think this is an important issue, but the end of the book I was tired of being hit over the head with how “bad” coal corporations are and how no one will stand up to them.
I also did not enjoy the main character in the story. Samantha lets her life slide by, avoiding hard decisions and moral choices that would help her grow. She seems to live in an avoidance default – letting circumstances guide her life instead of making conscious decisions to live one way or another.
I read the book on my ipad, which led to another disappointment. Just when Samantha was getting interesting (about 300 pages in) and I felt she was finally ready to roll up her sleeves and get involved in her life, the book ended. Because I didn’t have the physical book in my hands, I was very surprised by this. I wanted some resolution, but felt Grisham left everything completely up in the air. The coal corporations were just as bad, no one was standing up to them, and none of the legal cases begun in the book were resolved.
I know John Grisham can write a better story. I will continue to read his books. In fact, I noticed that I have missed some of his more recent books and will go back to catch those. I hope they are better than “Gray Mountain.”