Alli's Reviews > Penelope

Penelope by Rebecca Harrington
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Aug 05, 12

Read in January, 2012

As an extremely imaginative person, I often desire books as highly nuanced as my own fantasies world. I seek emotion, raw and captivating, and I relish comedy absurd enough to keep me laughing. Penelope serves these two jobs so well, it could be the only book I ever read for the rest of my life. Harrington creates a character in Penelope, so lovable and dynamic, that she stays with you. I often hear myself speak and think, "ah that's something Penelope might say!" The true genius of Harrington's writing is the way she creates Penelope, so at once excruciating and admirable, you find yourself deeply invested in her successes. The social faux pas she might commit often still leave her coming out on top, amongst the dysfunction of the elite. Spot-on, but never mean, Harrington is one of the most acute capturers of pretension since JD Salinger, with the tickling comedy of PG Wodehouse. Reading Penelope is like opening a nerve, it absolutely elicited every reaction I have ever wanted out of a book. I can't stress enough how truly artful Penelope is, it would take years to pull back the layers. A true exercise in catharsis, no book has ever left me more satisfied.
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