i really wanted to like this book...so i am bummed it wasn't a better read for me. this was my first wolitzer, and i thought it would be cool to begin...morei really wanted to like this book...so i am bummed it wasn't a better read for me. this was my first wolitzer, and i thought it would be cool to begin here, before jumping into The Interestings, since i have owned the ten-year nap for so long.
i am not really sure yet why this read didn't work for me. i have a few loosely formed thoughts lolling about in my brain, so i adjust going to put them out here:
* i found the style clunky and the flow was off - wolitzer can write - there's no doubt about it - but i didn't find it consistent. she had some absolutely beautiful and poignant sentences...and then there were clunkers and clichés. so that contributed to a poor rhythm during the read. * at times...it felt like a giant lecture, and i couldn't get the image of a finger wagging at me out of my mind. * she gave voice to thoughts that, very likely, all women and all mothers have had...but she didn't really go anywhere with these things a lot of the time - they got lost in the shuffling back and forth between characters and time. * for a 'life is messy book' - it all got very tidy at the end. * why are men always jerks? (general question, really. it's a strange phenomenon in fiction like this, that the male characters don't get much development or depth. reminds me of how, on TV sitcoms - the husbands or dads are always bumbling, flustered, dumb...and then 'managed' by the women. exception: karen's husband, 'wilson', in the ten-year nap seemed very nice - loving and supportive, and indulgent of karen's parents - in the bit we were shown.) * there was something weird going on for me in that it didn't feel like i was reading a novel -- moments felt like nonfiction, which would be fine...if i found the writing/storytelling more engaging. this was a really strange sensation during the read.
so...that's what i have right now. i may come back and tweak this as i think on it a bit more. or maybe i will just move on to the next read? :)(less)
healey has done a very good job portraying memory - how it works and what it could be like when it starts to go. it t...more3.5-stars, if we could give that.
healey has done a very good job portraying memory - how it works and what it could be like when it starts to go. it took me some time to get into the flow and rhythm of the story. at first, i wasn't sure it was working for me, but by the halfway point, was was very engaged with the novel.(less)
i am still mulling this one. while i liked it, there is something niggling at me about it, which i can't quite put my finger on. i found the story and...morei am still mulling this one. while i liked it, there is something niggling at me about it, which i can't quite put my finger on. i found the story and the characters interesting, but it felt a bit fractured and, by the end, it's feels unresolved. i don't require tidy endings when i read, so that's not generally a problem for me. every now and then, though, i encounter a book that just feels unfinished. and i think that may be what's bothering gem about strout's novel.
i read this as part of my reading through the 2014 women's prize for fiction longlist nominees. this was book #7 for me, from the list. held up against some of the others i have already read...i am not sure i would shortlist this one.
but, since i am still sorting through my feelings about the book...maybe my opinion will change?(less)