Jules's Reviews > I See You Everywhere

I See You Everywhere by Julia Glass
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's review
May 27, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: american-fiction, contemporary-fiction, diary-style, fiction, modern-day-fiction
Read from May 15 to 27, 2012

I must admit that the first 80-90 pages into this book, I found the very process of reading it to be a complete dragging nightmare. A bit like chick-lit on acid (or maybe that’s too much of a complement here!) and all that remained at this third into the book was an unexplored and fragile characterisation and a very meaningless plotline with not very much going on at all. As a reader, I admit, I didn’t know quite where this was heading and I really, really wanted to quit at this point! Being a ‘hard-core’ reader however, I stayed with it – a decision I’ve come to embrace rather than regret right now – so all’s still good on the Western front by and large.

The alternating dual-narrative that runs throughout this book was fairly difficult for me to get into at first. Fifty or so pages in and I started to get a grip and recognise the very basic (at this stage) character traits of the two sisters. Louisa’s sub-chapters always showed signs of dependability, rhythm and stability whereas Clem’s were more chaotic – led by passion and not by expectation in any way.

As life for these two main protagonists progressed after the ‘third through the book’ stalemate (and for the most past afterwards, tragically so), some meaning in the novel transgressed and pleasingly I began to feel empathy (at last!) with the characterisation of the sisterly figures as their exchanged dual narrative explored their own personal problems, life at-large and simply bigger and more meaningful issues.

Glass, as a writer, is nostalgic and perceptively intelligent. What certainly carried me through this book were some vivid descriptions of life, nature, character and survival that I have rarely discovered in an author. Glass, or so it appears to me, also seems to understand the female condition of biological demands and restraints. It could quite easily be said that both female protagonists, regrettably, never really come to terms ‘fully’ with their femininity – maybe it’s because both are quite ultra-intelligent feminists in their own distinct ways.

As a very quick conclusion to the review, I do guess that sticking with the book has actually taught me a lot. This book was in no way an instant fit or fix for me, hence it only starting to charm me a third of the way through. Without doubt, I would read other books by this author because I am confident of her writing ability, love of nature and understanding of the human mind.

A ‘grower’ by any stretch of the imagination and I’m definitely glad I stuck by it!

Recommended (in the end) as it’s different, captivating and true.

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05/15/2012 page 70
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