Sep 12, 12
Read from September 03 to 12, 2012
Cathi Hanauer is such an interesting writer. The first book I read by her, "My Sister's Bones," is to this day one of my favorites. Since then I've read "Sweet Ruin," and happened upon this one with much pleasure during a routine trip to the bookstore. On one hand, her characters are so real, so vivid, so true to the way life really is that it almost doesn't feel like reading a book. It's as though you're crouching underneath some family's living room window, watching as they live their lives inside, unaware of your presence. In that way I feel that Hanauer is very gifted. I root for her characters, (next time I hope she doesn't choose another annoying name for a daughter: so far we have Hazel and Magnolia,) I am invested in them most of the time, and the stories are very true. But that's also the down side of her work. At least for me. They're so real that nothing happens. There's no big clincher, there's never a surprise, things just unfurl as they would in life. One could argue this a positive, and I would probably agree with you. But that's why I read, I want something to happen in the book that wouldn't happen in a life I could recognize. In "My Sister's Bones," this does occur. Plot points that surprise you, and character development you don't see coming. Not so in "Sweet Ruin" and "Gone." Not to say that they aren't well written, they are. And I would read another novel by Hanauer. They just don't keep you turning the page to find out what happens next. You turn the page because you can already recognize what will happen next, because maybe you've lived it before. You decide if that holds your interest.