Alison's Reviews > The English American

The English American by Alison Larkin
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's review
Mar 20, 2008

did not like it
bookshelves: tried-to-read-but-couldn-t-finish

As an American who has always felt very much "at home" in British literature, I've always though of myself as an "English American" of another sort. I purchased the book after listening to an interview with the author on an XM radio show. Ms. Larkin sounded very clever and witty, and I had high hopes for the book, but was disappointed and abandoned it at about 2/3 of the way through. (My New Year's resolution is to quit wasting time finishing frivolous books that are giving me no pleasure; classics are excepted from this rule). "The English American" was overly plot-driven, the setting and character development thin, at best. This made the narrative choppy and meaningless. While the author made attempt at getting into Pippa's head, mostly through the letters to her friend, the effort came across as just that-effort. I was also put-off by the political tones. Ms. Larkin just casually dropped her own beliefs into the narrative, in off-hand comments, with no explanation as to why Pippa had those beliefs. If you're going to include so much about Pippa's political beliefs, you have to explain why Pippa holds those beliefs. If they're really just the author's beliefs, then the author should be writing a memoir or political piece.
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Reading Progress

March 20, 2008 – Shelved
Started Reading
April 15, 2008 – Shelved as: tried-to-read-but-couldn-t-finish
April 15, 2008 – Finished Reading

Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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Melanie Hear, hear! I must agree with you on all your points. The characters were poorly developed and it was difficult to care about them or connect with them. If this was not a book club pick for me I doubt I would have been able to get past the first several chapters. I'll just stick to the classics and tea made my way.

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