J.R. Moehringer what have you done to me! Despite having finished reading Moehringer’s latest novel over two weeks ago, Sutton is still haunting me today! While I had expected good things from the novel after having it recommended to me by friends, I didn’t expect a story about a bank robber to play with my emotions as much as Sutton did!
Focused on the real-life figure of Willie Sutton, one of America’s most notorious bank robbers, the novel is a blending of historical facts with the author’s imagination. Upon finally being released from jail on Christmas Eve, 1969, Willie was forced by his lawyer to travel across New York City with a reporter who wished to write an article about the bank robber’s life. While no one knows for sure what Sutton and the reporter discussed on their journey, Moehringer’s retelling of the events are fast-paced and powerful!
Reflecting on his life, reader’s learn about Sutton’s struggle to rise out of the Irish slum, how he met the love of his life, and his eventual fall into crime. Despite appearances, Sutton really is more of a love story then anything else, as the majority of the novel finds Willie attempting to reconnect with Bess Ender, the one girl he could never forget.
What really sold this novel to me, however, was the end. Just when reader’s think that they have finally constructed a complete image of who Willie really is, everything falls apart! This is where things got emotional for me! Having created what I thought was a solid understanding of Willie’s character, I was left utterly shocked and flabbergasted to discover that I might have been wrong. All I can say without spoiling the novel is that I can guarantee you will be shocked too! This 180 degree turn in my perception of Willie was emotionally difficult at first, but it ultimately made the novel as brilliant as it is!
Overall, I adored Sutton and would highly recommend it to any adult fiction readers! Based on the amount of discussion that I had about this book with my friends, it would also make an excellent addition to any book club reading list!
Rating: 5 Stars (Highly Recommended!)