Barbara ★'s Reviews > Sing Them Home

Sing Them Home by Stephanie Kallos
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May 14, 2011

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bookshelves: fiction, x-set-in-usa-nebraska, challenge-books, read-2011
Read from May 02 to 14, 2011

The premise of the book sounded interesting: 3 young siblings left behind after their mother disappeared during a tornado; all supposedly with stress related mental issues. The oldest, Larken Jones is an overweight art professor hiding her eating disorder from everyone. Perpetually single but in love with her married neighbor. She's just existing from day to day not really living at all. The middle child, Gaelan is an overly sensitive and good looking body-building weatherman who uses women and discards them (or they discard him). I got the feeling he might be gay and hiding it from everyone including himself. (I was surprisingly wrong about this.) And of course, the youngest, Bonnie who is an anomaly. She collects trash in an effort to find a clue to her mother's disappearance. She basically lives in a shack with all this junk as decoration. She is very civic-minded: mowing old ladies lawns, going to the school to help with the kids, attending town meetings, etc. She's rather odd but perfectly content.

The story is very disconcerting because it jumps back and forth in time. When any of the children are traveling, the story regresses (without notice) to an earlier time in their lives. Then jumps back to the place in time they actually are. The most disconcerting this is that Hope Jones (their mother) isn't part of the story at all. By the time the story starts, she has already "gone up" as they refer to her death. So you don't get a feel for her or of her personality. The only way you "know" Hope is through her diary entries and they don't show her in the best light. Unfortunately, I found Hope to be whiny and irritating as hell. I just couldn't find it in myself to like her at all and I became rather uninterested in reading (listening) to her constant diatribe.

This is not usually something I would read but I needed a book set in Nebraska and this is all I could find that I was even willing to read. Thankfully I found an audiobook otherwise I never would have gotten past the first chapter. Though in a hard copy I could have easily skipped over all the stuff that happened once Llewlyn Jones died instead of having to endure all the Welsh singing and the morbidity of the weekly death extravaganza. Where one description would suffice, the author repeatedly used three. I found the entire story to be more babble than substance making a 300 page book into a 542 page monstrosity.
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Reading Progress

05/05/2011 page 170
31.0% "I was enduring this women's fiction book until all the bizarre events of the six day funeral for the father - a non-major character. Just tedious and boring as hell."
05/10/2011 page 374
69.0% "Not sure why I'm still listening to this book. It rambles and rambles about nothing important and about people irrelevant to the story. UGH!"

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