Jessica Woodbury's Reviews > Red Hook Road

Red Hook Road by Ayelet Waldman
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's review
Oct 15, 2010

it was ok
bookshelves: audiobooks
Read in October, 2010

** spoiler alert ** I like Ayelet Waldman. But I think I have to recognize that I don't like her the way I like someone like Thomas Hardy, for example. I like Hardy's books but I'm not sure he and I would have much to talk about. Whereas I would be really happy to have lunch with Waldman. I like her attitude, I like her essays, I like her blunt honesty.

But. I've read 2 of her other books. I tried another and couldn't get through. And this one... well, I seriously considered not finishing it. I just don't like her books. I need to accept that.

This book suffered from the really annoying problem of the perfect dead people. It managed to be immersed in grief without actually exploring it. I got to the point where I was constantly cataloging its flaws. Waldman needs to show, not tell. She is always describing her characters' emotions in great detail (often in long annoying lists: she felt a, she felt b, she felt c, etc.) but when they finally do something that manifests their feelings she doesn't let the action speak for itself. She once again has to tell you in detail what she just showed you.

Early on I would anticipate an upcoming plot point and think, "Nah, she wouldn't do that." And then she would. Every time. I even though about halfway through that at least she wouldn't throw all the characters together at the end in a big storm at sea where they could all drown. Oh wait. She did.

I like Waldman. I will still have lunch with her any day. But I think I need to stop reading her books.
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