The story built up such huge force and momentum, charging like a wild boar to the finish line. Then it tripped over its own feet and fell flat on itsThe story built up such huge force and momentum, charging like a wild boar to the finish line. Then it tripped over its own feet and fell flat on its arse and spun around stupidly until the words just stopped. I recommend reading the first 5/6th of it and then making up your own ending before the author ruins it for you with the one she chose....more
The subject matter was hard at the start, but it got easier as the book progressed, because I started to really dislike t**spoiler alert** Spoilers...
The subject matter was hard at the start, but it got easier as the book progressed, because I started to really dislike the main character.
Yes, I understand and appreciate the dichotomy of the mother/daughter relationship, especially a dysfunctional one. I get the love/hate thing. I really, really do. But, the fact that she owned her hatred of her mother at such an early age--she acknowledged it and expressed it, I mean she OWNED it, but then she only acted out the "loving daughter" part, was so disingenuous. But, if we're to accept that this is who that character was, then she was just weak and sick. And continued to be weak and sick, all through her marriage, hurting her husband and her children all while openly hating the mother that she insisted on caring for, and then finally killing that mother. The character was 49 at the time of the story, and in all those years, from the first spark of hatred of her mother when she was little, did she ever think that this was all unhealthy and wrong? She was closed off, cold, cruel, pushing everyone away, even her children (which I found so hard to read, that she went on and on about her dislike of her older child) and never had any inkling to change? Oh, she saw the one therapist once, who was apparently just as nuts as she was, and talked about her hostility towards his "probing." It was all just too weird to accept.
Then her having sex with her best friend's son was even more hard to stomach than her killing her mother. I mean, that feels almost incestuous, doesn't it? The son was grown, and apparently had a crush on this woman for a long time, but still, I don't understand how you can have sex with someone who is the child of your best friend. Someone you've had an adult role in raising since birth. It was, as I said, worse than the murder she'd just committed, IMO. After I realized that I truly did not like this woman, anything about her, it was even harder to plod through her narcissism over her figure (realizing that if she had not taken such good care of her figure she wouldn't have had the strength to murder her mother, nor be attractive to her friend's son--oh GAG me!--and her going on and on about how plump her friend was, in a not-nice way--again, who is SHE to put down anyone!?!)
See, the book wasn't presented as maybe the diary of Charles Manson would be, like it's supposed to be a spectacle of horrors, hard to get through because that level of sickness is just so out of our understanding. It was presented kind of like we were supposed to maybe sympathize with her and root for her. I think she was supposed to come across as weak and having made bad decisions, but "damaged" by her upbringing. I think we were supposed to recognize that she made bad choices, but also feel compassion for her because of what she'd gone through, and her conflicting emotions. I didn't though. At first I did. But, then the stuff with the friend's son came in and the stuff about the kind of mother she was, and that she just never even tried to stop wallowing in her own illness. I just thought she was selfish and a horrible person.
The end was mildly redeeming. Yes, she was going to take responsibility for it, finally, and try to repair her broken relationships (from prison, or a mental institution, more likely). But, it was too little too late.
What I truly hated about the book was that it is the opposite of what I like and what I hope to achieve in my own writing. I am all about stories of people who come from sickness and bad luck and through whatever (the unexpected love from others, their own strength, some luck that graces them, assistance from doctors, teachers, mentors), they are able to get out of the muck and make something of themselves. I'm not even talking big success stories like The Persuit of Happyness. Even just little ones like Dead Poets Society, where the big prize is having the courage to ask out a girl, or tell your parents you don't want to be a lawyer. Just to get over the negative weight and live a normal life. I am all about stories of rising above whatever handicaps you were born with or dealt early on. I like to see stories where people were born "freaks" and then somehow normalized that title, made it work FOR them, taking what they've been given and gaining strength from it.
This was the opposite of that. This took a person, put her in a bad situation (yes, her childhood was bad, but it wasn't the worst I've seen by any measure) and then held her head under its water until she drowned in it. It took what could have been a quirky person from a less-than-ideal upbringing, spun her around and turned her into a freak, instead of taking a person out of a horrible place and turning her into a hero. I just don't like those kinds of books, I guess. I just had a really, really hard time with this woman's lifetime of submission to weakness and selfishness and felt that there shouldn't even be a book written about this kind of person unless it is clearly stated that we are supposed to genuinely dislike her. And, well, I genuinely dislike plenty of selfish and weak people who have done real-life bad things to me and others, so I just don't want to invest my recreation time to it, too.
BORING! I was so optimistic at the start. The writing was good and the plot intriguing. Then I ended up skimming paragraphs, then whole pages, then whBORING! I was so optimistic at the start. The writing was good and the plot intriguing. Then I ended up skimming paragraphs, then whole pages, then whole big sections of the book to get to the end....more
It takes itself way too seriously. Tries too hard to be horrifying. I didn't like the main character at all. Too many coincidences and convenient overIt takes itself way too seriously. Tries too hard to be horrifying. I didn't like the main character at all. Too many coincidences and convenient overlapping threads to cover problems with the premise....more
I really tried to like this book. I tried to read it twice. The second time, I got to the part with the backflash with the Russians driving the weddinI really tried to like this book. I tried to read it twice. The second time, I got to the part with the backflash with the Russians driving the wedding party on the dogsled...I thought it was funny, but it wasn't supposed to be funny. I gave up after that....more
I thought I'd like this book. I didn't like the main characters though (the woman was weak and silly and the man was two dimensional). I quit readingI thought I'd like this book. I didn't like the main characters though (the woman was weak and silly and the man was two dimensional). I quit reading it towards the middle when I admitted I just didn't care at all what happened to these people....more
Holy cow how I hated this book. I thought the characters were snobby and humorless, although it was obvious they thought themselves intellectual artisHoly cow how I hated this book. I thought the characters were snobby and humorless, although it was obvious they thought themselves intellectual artistes. I would not like these people in real life. And the author just added convenient variations to time travel lore whenever she found herself in a tight spot....more