Mar 27, 11
Read in March, 2011
As a former Bay Area resident, I loved the place name-dropping in this novel: the Cheeseboard, Berkeley Bowl, University Ave. I loved the book in the beginning - its careful realism, the focus on a very real-feeling family, the prose that was well-crafted but didn't get in the way of the story. For some reason, though, I was less enthralled as I moved on (with the caveat that I read it in a few days and wanted to be reading it when I was busy with other things). I think the Sarabeth-Liz relationship seemed too much for the story, given all Packer was dealing with in Liz's family. Or I felt that Sarabeth kind of got dropped near the end? Maybe things wrapped up too quickly, or turned out too well? Really, only Liz and Sarabeth's relationship seemed permanently affected for the possible worse.
I did feel she really captured the teenage daughter's voice...not an easy task.