Sandie's Reviews > So Long at the Fair

So Long at the Fair by Christina Schwarz
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's review
Aug 08, 2008

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bookshelves: 2008-books, 20th-century-women, contemporary-lit

This mercurial story of love and adultery in a small Wisconsin town spans the course of three decades and serves as undeniable proof positive that people don't always learn from their mistakes or the mistakes of others.

Two stories, inextricably linked, are related to the reader in alternating chapters. Each of the plotlines is character driven and telegraphs a sense of foreboding. Agilely pivoting between one fateful night in 1963 and a single hot July day some thirty years later, Schwartz deftly intertwines the two stories to give us an evocative portrait of sympathetic individuals caught up in unsympathetic situations.

When a writer of Schwartz's caliber has proven her ability to produced jewels such as All is Vanity and Drowning Ruth one tends to view future offerings with a more critical eye. Although better than a lot of writer's best work, one always expects more from those whose obvious talent sets them apart from the rest. For this reason, this reader found So Long at the Fair to be a little heavy handed in its resolution and definitely lacking the insight into the foibles of the human animal so accurately and flawlessly characterized in her previous works. For this reason.........3 stars.
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