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June, 2016: Fantasy > Bellefleur -- Joyce Carol Oates. Rated 4 Stars.

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message 1: by Kathy (new)

Kathy Bellefleur by Joyce Carol Oates. Rated 4 stars.

Bellefleur is a story about multiple generations of a wealthy, eccentric, notorious family who own vast amounts of land and live in an enormous mansion. The family is comprised of geniuses, outlaws, spiritual seekers, and mass murderers. It is written in a non-linear fashion jumping from one point in time to another, one character to another. Each chapter is like a different short story but by the end of the book the whole family history is drawn together and you can see how everything is interrelated. Themes in this story deal not only with the mundane self-imposed isolation, redemption, and effects of unlimited wealth; but also with prophesy, family curses, vampires, trolls, shape shifters, and cryptozoology. Joyce Carol Oates tackles it all in this epic novel.


message 2: by Booknblues (new)

Booknblues | 6501 comments Kathy wrote: "Bellefleur by Joyce Carol Oates. Rated 4 stars.

Bellefleur is a story about multiple generations of a wealthy, eccentric, notorious family who own vast amounts of land ..."


I have several of Joyce Carol Oates books, but never seem to pick them up to read....it sounds as though I should.


message 3: by Diane (new)

Diane Zwang | 485 comments I have yet to read one of her books but I have several on my TBR pile. She is a favorite author of one of my friends. Some day...


message 4: by Kathy (last edited Jun 18, 2016 07:59AM) (new)

Kathy I have read 3 of her books so far. I prefer her gothic stories over her contemporary life ones. In her gothic stories, she writes with a very descriptive, twisting narrative almost like how oral stories are told from one generation to the next. Hope that makes sense! She also relies on magical realism to explain things that the characters might not understand. Example: a young boy gets knocked unconscious by a thrown rock, falls off his raft into the pond but doesn't drown. Conclusion: he is part merman because he can breathe underwater. Logically: he floated and never aspirated the water. The way she writes it makes a magical telling of a plausibly mundane tale. I have always wanted to believe there is a little magic in this world! Maybe that is why I find her writing so charming.


message 5: by Denizen (new)

Denizen (den13) | 1138 comments I read this decades ago but remember really liking it. It's the first book I read by Oates. I went on to read several more and really enjoyed most of them.


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