Jen's Reviews > Evening Is the Whole Day

Evening Is the Whole Day by Preeta Samarasan
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's review
Feb 03, 12

did not like it
bookshelves: literary-fiction, gave-up-on
Read in July, 2008

After reading rave reviews of this novel, I was just sure it was going to be fantastic.

I didn't even make it past the second chapter.

The language is beautiful, but it's written in a style that makes it difficult to understand at times. A lot of Malaysian dialect is used, which means the dialogue can be choppy when the characters are speaking. The style itself reminds me a lot of Faulkner with that same stream of consciousness flow. As I've never been a fan of Faulkner, it's not surprising that this didn't appeal to me.

I really believe there's a great story here. But you have to dig to find it. It's the kind of book your high school English teacher assigns you to read, and day-to-day life is stressful enough without reading about someone else's troubles. Immediately, the book struck me as dark and brooding. Maybe I just wasn't in the mood for this particular book. Overall, the concept is certainly interesting. It follows a Malaysian family as one daughter moves to New York City and a servant is sent away for a "crime" we know nothing about. The smallest child is six and sees ghosts. However, I found the book slow to start and even slower to read. I rarely put a book down once I start it, but this one just wasn't happening for me.

I'm filing this on my "never read again" shelf.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Jonathan I'm reading this book now and I feel the same way. The Faulkner insight is astute. Stream of consciousness. Although, it's a bit of a tweak with her, I think, because hers is more from the omniscient narrator and Faulkner's (from the couple stories I've read) comes a lot from the characters, as I remember. She doesn't really do that with her characters. And then, too, she uses a lot of word pictures, which I think creates that stream of consciousness feel. And it does make it difficult to follow the narrative sometimes. She has poetic tendencies, I think.

I've made it past chapter 2, it's become a little easier, the narrative is larger.

Jessica This book is worth the effort, I assure you. I just finished it, and am anticipating reading it again.

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