Bucket's Reviews > Lola, California

Lola, California by Edie Meidav
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's review
Jul 12, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: experimental, friendship, identity, life-and-death, literary, many-perspectives, parents-affecting-children, philosophy, psychology, reviewed, women
Read from August 12 to 24, 2011

This was a more experimental book than I've read in a month or so, and I'm very glad I dived in. Despite the constant shifts back and forth in time (over decades) and perspective (4+ different characters), I found the language enthralling and style enthralling and for the most part extremely evocative.

I also enjoyed Lana immensely - her actions and feelings were fascinating to me and the author did an excellent job building a character who is neither lovable and nice nor a criminal mastermind, but still complex and interesting. Lana's life experiences build her in a very free-flowing way. I could see all along how she came to do the things she did without anything ever becoming predictable. Vic was also an interesting character, though there was less of what formed him in the novel.

My problem with the book is Rose. In the beginning, she seems like she will be a key character and throughout the novel the author continues to pull her in and try to make her important, but she just wasn't important. In the end, we even get a glimpse into what the future holds for Rose, but to me it didn't matter. I think the book should have ended with the last bit of dialogue from Eileen: "Can't you see now is your time?"

I would definitely read more of Meidav's work. This novel's failing (forcing a theme that isn't really key) is due to the author's ability to learn about her character's and story as she writes, and that is admirable. I love that she didn't stick completely to some formula or idea that she may have started with and allowed the novel to get 'messy'. I like the messy; I just wish she had let go completely as the story delved into more interesting topics.

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08/12/2011 page 33
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