Howard's Reviews > A Seahorse Year

A Seahorse Year by Stacey D'Erasmo
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Jul 01, 09

Read in June, 2009

Zach told me that one of the things he liked about this book was its structure. I didn't know what this meant when he said it, and now that I've read the book I may still not know what structure means. But I don't care because I thought it was terrific; and if that was because of its structure then count me a reader who believes that structure is very important. Otherwise I would say that what lifts this book is the entirely credible characters who are thrown into a crisis when the teenage son of two of them cracks up. The parents are a gay woman and the man who impetuously agreed to be her sperm donor when their mutual friend (his lover) dies. The third important character is the mother's unfaithful partner. In lesser hands this is a soap opera suitable for adapating as a tv movie made for broadcast on the Logo channel. But for me it was way more. I believed these characters and as the story unfolded I cared about them and understood their flawed responses to the crisis they were in. The plot could have gone many ways, and -- perhaps this is the structurall point -- D'Erasmo didn't telegraph her intentions at all. I'll probably go look for her earlier book after reading this.

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