The Opportunist by Tarryn Fisher
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Tarryn Fisher is a talented writer–her mechanics and style alone are incredible and she wields them spectacularly with this novel The Opportunist. My latest novel This Much Is True has been compared to her story and style (which I have not read until now) so I thought I would finally check out Fisher’s book The Opportunist and see for myself what some reviewers are talking about with this type of comparison.
I was not disappointed nor surprised by what I read in Fisher’s novel The Opportunist. Perhaps the old saying it takes one to know one is essentially true. Fisher likes to serve up angsty story lines as much as I do; it seems. Bonus!
Some time ago, I bookmarked the Urban Dictionary website after looking up the word mindfuck. Now, every time I open the site from the bookmark that word comes up defined for me. It makes me laugh and seems to apply to Ms. Fisher’s story line with The Opportunist as much as my own work. Yes. That’s what we have here with The Opportunist–a total mindfuck. Olivia Kaspen is an opportunist. She is emotionally closed off–although the reader doesn’t know why for much of the novel–and even when we do find out, it doesn’t really explain away Olivia’s cold hearted actions at all and what she’s done to those around her.
Fisher takes a huge risk with this novel in garnering any kind of sympathy for this type of main character/heroine, if you will, but like a car accident that we are unable to look away from, readers will plow through this storyline just to be able to put it all together for themselves by the end. I believe readers will find it a tough go to like Olivia pretty much through the book. The frustration with this girl and her inability to admit to any kind of truth whatsoever must strand a few readers; but the saving grace for many must be Caleb. Readers want to know Caleb and try to understand what happened between these two; or didn’t. I can only imagine the number of readers ready to throw their Kindle/book and yell at Oliva, “Come on! Just tell him!”
Then, just when you think you have it all figured out, Fisher does the unexpected. It’s a risk when she writes a single chapter from Caleb’s point of view that essentially re-calibrates the entire story line for her audience. Nothing is as it seems. Everyone in this story has their reasons and is an opportunist in their own way. Huh…
I bought this book some time ago. I’m sure the table of contents (lack of) has been remedied and some of the formatting that proved distracting has been fixed, but these were minor things that did not take away from the ultimate fascination that I had with this novel. Fisher’s ability to weave back and forth between the present and past was masterful. I liked the brevity of style in terms of detail that effectively allows the reader to fill in the story for themselves.
As readers, we know these two by the end of the book and we want things to work out, even though we’re not sure how that’s going to happen because they get in their own way so often that it seems nearly impossible. And I feel lucky because I waited to read The Opportunist until now because books #2 and #3 are available so I can plow through the other two books and finally learn Olivia and Caleb’s complete story at the end. No waiting. Awesome!
Five Stars – The Opportunist is deep, edgy, dark, and filled with angst. Where have I heard that description before? Oh, and we’re both from Seattle so there you go…
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