Irina D's Reviews > The Man of My Dreams

The Man of My Dreams by Curtis Sittenfeld
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's review
Apr 06, 2012

liked it

I want to give it 3 1/2 starts, but since there are no 1/2 start ratings, I will have to round down for this one.
The book has a strong voice and solid writing style, which made it a page-turner, but the content felt... a little patchy. This is a sort of coming-of-age story about Hannah- a woman who, until she is 14, grows up in a home with an angry, controlling father. The rest of the book details her view on love and her relationships with men.
In the interview with the author at the end of my copy of this book, she states that for this novel, if she was in doubt, she'd leave something out, rather than include it.
This, unfortunately, is exactly the problem I had with the book. I didn't get a good sense of Hannah as a person, like, for example, why she is so much more awkward than her well-adjusted sister. I also didn't really like that the book is about Hannah's experiences or failures with men, since she is potentially an interesting, smart and complex enough character who (I get the sense) did more than just feel weird about boys. Why does she choose her area of study in college? What are her likes and dislikes? How does her family react when she refuses to speak to her father any longer? There are many more interesting things about Hannah than just her relationship with men (which isn't shown in a terribly detailed way anyway) and I feel like the book's scope was ultimately kind of myopic and dissatisfying because of these shortcomings. That's too bad, because the writing style itself is solid and enjoyable to read.

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