Carolee Wheeler's Reviews > What I Loved

What I Loved by Siri Hustvedt
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Feb 07, 2014

it was amazing
bookshelves: re-read
Recommended to Carolee by: 1001 Books You Should Read Before You Die
Recommended for: art history buffs; sensory people; reluctant pessimists
Read in October, 2008

Because I've been engaged in a book club with three others--one who likes fiction, one who likes it with reservations, and a third who views it with trepidation--I've been thinking about why I like fiction so much. Modern fiction, classic fiction, whatever--what always draws me is the way human nature is portrayed. What does it mean to be human? Is it sad, broken, lonely, joyful, complicated? Yes.

This book is, for me, the dream of fiction, in that it tells us a story, and transports us, while at the same time tells us something about ourselves and our kind. The protagonists talk about friendship, loss, lust, grief, regret, art, and lies; they are betrayed and left behind and injured just as they are loved and buoyed and nurtured. They are beautiful and imperfect. On every page I found something to love, something tender, bold, or poignant.

I won't bother giving you a synopsis, because you can get that nearly everywhere else. What I will give you is my heartfelt recommendation. Siri Hustvedt places each word, each sentence, with the deliberate deftness of someone who understands the gorgeous twisting combined pain and pleasure of being alive.
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Reading Progress

02/05/2014 marked as: currently-reading
02/07/2014 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by ambimb (new) - added it

ambimb How could I not read this after a review like that? Added to my swiftly-growing "to-read" shelf.


message 2: by Sara (new)

Sara loved your review..well okay liked...
I'm going to think about why I love fiction so much as well...
You forgot to mention (I think) the sheer beauty of language in fiction, when it's done right... and in What I loved the language was beautiful...
Want to start a book club, was thinking I needed lots of people and now I realise four's plenty. thanks

a reluctant optimist..;)


Emilee Rosa Great review !


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