Kristin's Reviews > The Broken Teaglass

The Broken Teaglass by Emily Arsenault
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's review
Mar 22, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: 2010
Read in February, 2010

I always get a kick out of books that are written in non-traditional formats, such as those written in letter form like The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society or Ella Minnow Pea where letters vanish from use as the novel progresses. Emily Arsenault's The Broken Teaglass employs a non-traditional format as well.

The story takes place in the offices of a dictionary company. Billy is sucked in to a mystery discovered by fellow lexicographer, Mona. Together the two unravel words that are connected for no other reason as the are cited from a novel that doesn't seem to ever have been published. Throughout this adventure, Billy begins to unravel who he is, and grows up.

Being a self-proclaimed "word nerd", I loved the premise of this novel. I enjoyed the various office personalities and the quirky phone calls and letters that they were subjected to be curious amateur etymologists. I will admit, it did get a bit tiresome to reread citations that had already appeared in the novel. But, despite my complaint that repetition did allow me to catch things I hadn't noticed the first time.

It's exciting to think that this is Arsenault's debut novel. I'm looking forward to reading her next book and hoping it is just as clever!

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