Jessica's Reviews > Contents May Have Shifted

Contents May Have Shifted by Pam Houston
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Jul 01, 12

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bookshelves: fiction
Read on July 01, 2012

Part midlife crisis, part travelogue, this novel traces the journey of a restless fortysomething woman who is probably not particularly far-removed from the author herself. The story is told in brief snapshots of trips that Pam takes across the globe. Some with her less-than-ideal love interest, some with various friends, and some by herself. Houston herself fills these snapshots with such intimate details of each location that it’s hard not to assume the incredibly autobiographical nature of this novel.

There is also a severe lack of chronology, as there’s really no indication of a timeframe or a sequence of events for Pam’s adventures. We know it's contemporary, but that's about it. It’s an interesting style, and I loved Houston’s wordsmithing, but there’s a lack of character development that irked me. Though I get that Pam is a woman who runs away from anything in her life that causes her the least bit of anxiety, I didn’t see a whole lot of growth over the course of the story.
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