Kelli's Reviews > What Belongs to You

What Belongs to You by Garth Greenwell
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it was amazing
bookshelves: favorites

This story cannot be fiction. If this is truly fiction, this author ranks among the best. There is too much here for it not to be based in truth. The story is so human. The writing is dense and rich, with long sentences (littered with punctuation) that demand to be read and re-read. Sentences masterfully crafted, each packed with information and emotion. There are no wasted lines. Skip just one and you will be clambering backwards trying to piece things together. Every chapter ends in a way that is either intentional or sheer magic...I will let you decide.
The narrator deftly describes every piece of himself, his surroundings, and this unique, surreal relationship built on foreign words that have more than one meaning, sustained by desire and mutual needs that couldn't be more different. This story epitomizes the viscosity that comes from a relationship that is impossible to clearly define. The author masterfully depicted the challenges of communicating in a foreign language when it comes to relationships. Regardless of skill level, there are nuances and mysteries that simply cannot be translated to the non-native speaker and coupling that with cultural differences, there is an enormous challenge presented in a perfect word. My heart broke for Mitko, this child of the post-Soviet era doing whatever it took to survive in a place no doubt unrecognizable even to him...but my heart also broke for our narrator and his scars that could not and will not heal. At the end I hung my head and cried right along with him. This book is quietly brilliant and difficult to forget. 5 stars.
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Reading Progress

February 3, 2016 – Started Reading
February 3, 2016 – Shelved
February 4, 2016 – Finished Reading
February 7, 2016 –
page 193
99.48% "i finished this book Thursday & still can't write a cohesive review. Hold, please!"
October 17, 2016 – Shelved as: favorites

Comments Showing 1-21 of 21 (21 new)

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message 1: by Dianne (new) - added it

Dianne Sounds wonderful! What a great review, Kelli!


message 2: by Esil (new) - added it

Esil Wow! Your enthusiastic review has really piqued my interest Kelli


message 3: by Andrew (new)

Andrew Smith Brilliant review, Kelli. Love your 'viscosity' sentence! :)


message 4: by Jennifer (new) - added it

Jennifer Masterson Wonderful review Kelli! :)


message 5: by Zoeytron (new)

Zoeytron Exceptional review, Kelli.


message 6: by Melanie (new) - added it

Melanie Great review!


message 7: by Jen (new)

Jen Amazing review K!!


message 8: by Iris P (new) - added it

Iris P Such a well-written, profound review Kelli, you managed to convince me that this story is worth reading.


message 9: by Linda (new)

Linda Really good review, Kelli.


Larry H Terrific review, Kelli! I loved this one so much.


message 11: by Snotchocheez (new) - added it

Snotchocheez Another stellar review, Kelli! That's two books tonight I've added to my tbr shelf from your reviews.


message 12: by Jaidee (new)

Jaidee Wow....wonderful and heartfelt review Kelli. Thanks !!


message 13: by Lisa (new) - added it

Lisa What a review! I want to read it NOW! Well done, Kelli!


message 14: by Jaidee (new)

Jaidee Lisa wrote: "What a review! I want to read it NOW! Well done, Kelli!"

Lisa we must have read this review in sync !!


message 15: by Supratim (new)

Supratim Nice review, Kelli !


message 16: by Greg (new) - rated it 5 stars

Greg Kelli, I am only 44 pages in and I found myself thinking "this must be a true story." So I logged on to goodreads to read a few comments and yours came up first.


Steve Great review. It's one of my favorite books of this year! (I know it's only January. But still)


Kelli It was my #2 for last year!


message 19: by Soraya (new) - added it

Soraya Great review Kelli!! its my next read


Diane Kelli, I agree with you about how personal this book is. I too wonder how much is based on the author's real life.


message 21: by Carol (new) - added it

Carol Wow! Masterful review, Kelli. I'll have to search for this one.


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