Alison's Reviews > The Grief of Others

The Grief of Others by Leah Hager Cohen
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Jan 04, 2012

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Read from December 16 to 31, 2011

For the first 100 pages I thought the writing was beautiful, but by the last 100 it started to feel like it was breaking under the weight of its own self-importance. The language could be beautiful, but it never took the characters anywhere. Characters that intrigued me in the beginning were boring me by the end. The author kept saying that John and Ricky were madly in love at one point, but there was never tangible evidence of it. If there had been, I might have been more deeply invested in their fate. I finally got through Ricky that the flashbacks to the two weeks at the lake were about observing them at their pinnacle, their happiest time, but it felt manufactured to me. Why condense a marriage into two weird weeks in the past and expect it to tell us everything we need to know.

It just didn't feel like much of a story--like a room decorated with a dozen perfect little details, but taken as a whole they add up to just that, details. All that said, I thought she did nail many of the emotions, and I certainly felt like there were moments of beauty and pathos between the family members. But it just wasn't a riveting read.
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04/01 marked as: read

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