Courtenay's Reviews > The Whole World Over

The Whole World Over by Julia Glass
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May 20, 12

Read from May 05 to 19, 2012

** spoiler alert ** I'm really glad I didn't read the jacket of this book before reading the book itself, because I wouldn't have enjoyed it half as much if I'd known going in that the narrative would culminate on September 11, 2001. As in her other books, Julia Glass focuses on several characters whose lives intersect and writes each chapter from the point of view of a different character. 75% of the book tells a story that is, on its own, absorbing: a long-married couple at an impasse over infidelity and different career arcs, a gay restauranteur in his 40s trying to find love and mentor his punk nephew, a young girl with a brain injury caring for animals and dealing with her family. But then the reader notices that the author is taking care to give clues about time: there are fleeting references to the 2000 election, and then the months tick away in 2001, and then it's "Monday," and then, of course, it's Tuesday. A beautiful Tuesday under sunny blue skies. 9/11 has been so politicized in the years since it happened that it's easy to forget how that day felt. This book summed it up better than anything I've read: we were all absorbed with our own lives, and everything we were going through felt very, very important. And then it was Tuesday. A truly lovely read. I might upgrade this one to five stars at some point if it sticks with me the way I think it will.
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