Alexis's Reviews > The Kiss

The Kiss by Kathryn Harrison
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's review
Aug 10, 2012

really liked it

Flattened by this book. The impossible love between mother and daughter I found even more compelling than the incest relationship. I love how the experience of the book takes the reader (mostly) outside of space and time. We are shuttled to the coast, to here, there, but we could be anywhere. Or, nowhere. And in this powerful dislocation, Harrison circumscribes the devastating experience of participation in that which kills, alienates,and undoes the self. The narrative distance is at once too close and too far; she has all perspective and none,a tension that also speaks to the impossibility of the experience. Some people have said she takes little responsibility for the so-called affair, but I found the opposite; she took too much, and it haunted her. She was 20, practically a child, ensnared by a powerful man, her father--against whom she had no defense. Of course, I am interpreting a subjective rendering of events, but I walked away feeling that she had been abused and violated by someone and a set of circumstances with supreme control.
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04/12 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Jael Sprinkle You nailed it.

Alexis Thanks, Jael.

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