Christie's Reviews > The Cradle

The Cradle by Patrick Somerville
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Sep 25, 2009

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bookshelves: 2009, fiction
Read in September, 2009

I knew going into the book that the request was a bit out there, but it wasn't until toward the end of the book that I understood Marissa (not her motivations so much, the narrations *tells* us what her motivation is, more what it was about her personality and the nature of Matt and Marissa's relationship) that I believed that Matt would go on a wild goose chase for this cradle. I think it would have helped if readers were eased into the narrative before she made her request. Instead she asks her husband to find the cradle she herself was a baby in on page one. And he agrees because as the first line tells us, "Marissa could not be comforted, and wouldn't have it any other way." I spent the first half of the book annoyed with petulant Marissa and spineless Matt. Certainly, Sommerville wants to create a journey where the reader goes from not much caring for these folks one whit to developing an understanding and empathy for them. I did that, but I think he risked having readers put the book down after 30 pages. I would have abandoned the book, except I abandoned the one before this. I am glad I didn't.
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