I wanted to wait until I read this through a second time before posting my review, because I wanted to be sure that what I felt the first time I readI wanted to wait until I read this through a second time before posting my review, because I wanted to be sure that what I felt the first time I read it still rang true after reading some criticism of the book (so I went into it with a more cynical eye the second time). My feelings are still the same: for me, this was a beautiful, beautiful book. Horrible and devastating, absolutely - in fact, I just finished the last page and wept. But beautiful just the same - and perhaps even more amazing that I found it so beautiful after reading the horror upon horror that was described throughout the book. McCarthy's sparse writing style suited the book perfectly...in my opinion, nothing was lost by omitting quotation marks and proper sentence structure. This book made me feel deeply - feel the desolation of the world in its last days, feel the desperation of humanity as its moral code is stripped away, feel the endless, endless road and loss of hope as the boy and his father trudge through the dark, cold landscape, and most of all, feel the consuming, unconditional love between this father and his son: a love that transcends the utter devastation that encompasses their story. There were so many haunting passages that I keep turning over and over in my head, but this was one of the most moving for me:
“From daydreams on the road there was no waking. He plodded on. He could remember everything of her save her scent. Seated in a theater with her beside him leaning forward listening to the music. Gold scrollwork and sconces and the tall columnar drapes at either side of the stage. She held his hand in her lap and he could feel the tops of her stockings through the thin stuff of her summer dress. Freeze this frame. Now call down your cold and your dark and be damned."
I'm not an avid McCarthy fan by any means, but to me, this is master-craft writing at its finest. I will always have it on my shelf, and look forward to reading it again, devastating as it may be....more
This was such an engrossing memoir. The horrible circumstances the kids in this family continually found themselves in made me both disgusted and fascThis was such an engrossing memoir. The horrible circumstances the kids in this family continually found themselves in made me both disgusted and fascinated by their parents - it was so awful it almost didn't seem like it could be real. My book club had an interesting discussion about the dynamics of the Walls family and how they fit into the roles traditionally played out in an alcoholic household - it was surprising how well they fit into that model. The glimmer of hope here is the incredible resiliency the Walls kids maintained throughout their childhood...how well they took care of each other, and how most of them seem to have (for the most part) turned out to be relatively high-functioning adults. ...more
Love, love, LOVE this book - definitely one of my favorites I've read this year. The story riffs on themes of love, war, childhood, loss, aging, and lLove, love, LOVE this book - definitely one of my favorites I've read this year. The story riffs on themes of love, war, childhood, loss, aging, and loneliness, all while rendering characters that are heartbreakingly honest and endearing (Bird was my favorite character, but truly I loved them all). The plot jumps back and forth in time quite a bit, and took a little getting used to at the beginning - but the end result is several story threads and time periods building to an emotional tidal wave where all the characters collide and everything starts to make sense, leaving the reader awash in the beauty of Krauss's writing, and terribly sad that the book had to end. A beautiful story - this is one I'll keep in my collection always....more
I really enjoyed reading this book - it was interesting and fast-paced enough to make it difficult for me to put down every time I picked it up. The cI really enjoyed reading this book - it was interesting and fast-paced enough to make it difficult for me to put down every time I picked it up. The characters were very well developed, and the description of 1940s London during the war was haunting - particularly the scenes where Kay and Mickey were driving the ambulance to pick up victims from bombed-out neighborhoods. Although I liked the author's decision to write the novel backwards (starting in 1947, then working her way back to 1941), at the end of book, I found that I wanted to know more about how the character's lives ended up...things felt "unfinished" to me, in a way. Overall, I enjoyed this and would recommend it to others...I don't feel like I got enough out of it that I would ever read it more than once, (hence the 3-star rating) - but it was still very good. I look forward to picking up other Sarah Waters novels....more