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(view spoiler)[I am 70% through the book. I thought it started out strong and had interesting characters. However, half way through the book, I felt it started losing it's cohesiveness. I had little patience for Gus' letters and now it seems we have an entirely new cast of characters. Is it worth my persevering all the way to the end? Will the last third of the book pull all of the disparate chords together beautifully? (hide spoiler)]
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)[As Iris and Reenie are having their affair, Gus is falling in love with Eva, but she's too young. He asked her how old she was (almost fifteen) and he then he read her palm, telling her there wouldn't be many boys in her life, but she needed to wait for the stand up man that loved her like crazy. Even though she never got them, Gus' letters kept him in her life after Iris tore him out of it. They also represented the Jewish experience he ended up living, while in reality it was Eva whose family was Jewish. I really thought his letters were fascinating, a bit of an Odessy. All that said, I had the same experience thinking where are we headed here and looking at the page count. But I ended up absolutely loving this book. (hide spoiler)]
Charlotte AH! I didn't have the words, but this is exactly how I felt! I thought i was like 3/4 of the way through it because it seemed to be winding down, I looked at the pages, and I was barely half way! I would say that no, the second half doesn't necessarily pull it all together, but the very last 2 pages somehow managed to make me NOT throw it against the wall in the way I was predicting I would at the halfway point.