Susan Katz's Reviews > Songs in Ordinary Time

Songs in Ordinary Time by Mary McGarry Morris
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's review
Mar 13, 2012

did not like it
bookshelves: adult-fiction

I don't usually give bad reviews; I just skip those books. And the fault here may lie in the reader, not in the book. But I found this novel simply unreadable. I only managed to get through 50 pages, but there was not one hint in those pages that the book had any message other than the world is an ugly place and people can be badly damaged. I don't need a book to tell me that. Perhaps I should have been interested in knowing what happened when the murderous con man moved in on the dysfunctional family. But there wasn't a character sympathetic enough so that I cared what happened to him or her. Every character was selfish, deceptive, and manipulative at best, if not cruel and violent. Or else they were disturbed to a degree that would require psychiatric diagnosis. Even the dog was unpleasant. I don't require a Pollyanna view of the world, but if its darkness is going to be portrayed in a book, then I want that portrayal to have some meaning. I'm not interested in merely being a voyeur of madness, addiction, and dysfunction. I wouldn't read Dickens either if every character was Fagin or Uriah Heep.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Chris I finally got around to reading this one. It was so depressing and i didn't like a single character either. They were all so weak and insecure.

Kelley I definitely don't think it was the reader. I thought that none of the characters were likable, nor did I feel sympathetic toward any of them. I read the whole thing, and it took forever...but the entire book could have been summed up in 200 pages or less. Even the ending was a disappointment.

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