Angie's Reviews > The Convalescent

The Convalescent by Jessica Anthony
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's review
Oct 29, 2010

really liked it
Read in October, 2010

the plot is summarized elsewhere, and i will leave it there. what i want to say is that i think jessica anthony has done something even more amazing than i realize with this book. i couldn't see the ending coming together until about thirty pages from it, and even after it arrived it was still somehow in the future, mine to hope for and daydream about, like a perfect gift that includes a card promising a forthcoming gift that will somehow be even better. i don't mean anthony's next book--i have read too many next books to keep that naive flame burning. i mean the rest of this book, which will never arrive but absolutely exists, like the stigma of an infinitely petaled flower that is perpetually unfolding. it is the best sort of literary present, i think, and one that few authors seem brave enough to offer.

but when i say i think i've missed something, i mean that i'm fairly certain there was a trail of crumbs leading right to that ending i couldn't foresee, hints disguised as throwaway trivia, written for us to glance at and look away from, written for a character who is telling and not telling, endlessly narrating and never speaking. this is an exceptionally careful and thoughtful practicing of the craft. most of me wants to go back to the beginning right now and read it again just to mark these crumbs, because i think anthony is more talented than i can give her credit for after just one pass, and i want to be able to give her her full due. well, her or her editor. somebody is superhumanly brilliant here.
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