Mark's Reviews > Land of a Hundred Wonders

Land of a Hundred Wonders by Lesley Kagen
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's review
Oct 19, 10

bookshelves: fiction
Read in October, 2010

Ms Kagen presents us with the unique voice of Gibby McGraw, a young woman whose brain got scrambled in a car accident that took the lives of her parents. With childlike innocence, Gibby keeps lists of "Most Important Things to do" and attempts to solve the mystery of who killed Buster Malloy all while trying to recover the memories from before the accident. The small town in Kentucky is populated with all kinds of eccentrics and Gibby seems to interact with all of them. It certainly was entertaining, but not much more than that. Writers are always encouraged to write about what they know, but my sense here was that Ms Kagen has never lived in small-town Appalachia, and her notes at the end seemed to confirm this suspicion. This reader is unable to pinpoint where it went off the tracks, but the authenticity of a Wendell Berry or a Flannery O'Connor story just wasn't there. This reader would still recommend it just for the fun ride that it is.
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