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Archive: Other Books > Trans-Sister Radio / Chris Bohjalian - 3***

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Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 6381 comments Trans-Sister Radio by Chris Bohjalian
Trans-Sister Radio – Chris Bohjalian
3***

The novel is told by the four central characters: Dana, Carly, Allison and Will. Dana is a professor at a local college. Carly is the teenaged daughter of Allison and Will, who are long divorced. When Allison takes a course at the university she meets Dana, and they begin dating. Dana is cultured, intelligent, a great cook and an attentive lover. But he’s hiding a secret. Dana’s always know that she is really a woman in a man’s body, and has already made plans for gender-reassignment surgery.

Bohjalian tackles blended families, small town politics, prejudice, marriage, relationships, and the idea of “love conquers all” in this novel. If that sounds a little messy … well, the relationships between these characters, and the townspeople are somewhat messy as well. At one point Dana even comments that her university, where she had daily contact with students, had no problem with her gender-reassignment, while the parents and administrators of the middle school where Allison taught clearly wanted her fired just for her association with “that pervert.” And then there’s Will… Will’s second marriage is strained by his apparent interest in Allison’s new relationship. Is he jealous that some other man is interested in his ex-wife?

Like I said it’s messy and complicated. A lot like real life. Bohjalian’s story forces the reader to examine (and re-examine) the labels we assign to people and the knee-jerk reactions we have to those labels.

I was intrigued and the story held my interest, but I don’t think it’s Bohjalian’s best effort. I wasn’t a great fan of the interjection of the radio interviews (Will is a manager of Vermont Public Radio, and Dana’s situation becomes a focus of a story on NPR). I thought they interrupted the flow of the story, though they were a convenient way to expand on how various people felt about the issues.


LINK to my review


message 2: by Nicole R (new)

Nicole R (drnicoler) | 7784 comments I have never read anything by Chris Bohjalian, but he is one of those authors that I feel like I should read. Perhaps this is not the book to start with though...


message 3: by Amy (new)

Amy | 9326 comments Nicole, he has some serious hits and some serious misses. You need a guide for this author, about which books are not to be missed and which books should be completely out of your consideration. For an author so talented, to me his range is unbelievably wide.


message 4: by Book Concierge (last edited Jun 20, 2018 01:56PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 6381 comments Nicole R wrote: "I have never read anything by Chris Bohjalian, but he is one of those authors that I feel like I should read. Perhaps this is not the book to start with though..."

The first book I read by him was Midwives which I found completely engrossing.

I think the book of his that I've liked best, however, was his historical fiction work: The Sandcastle Girls


message 5: by Amy (new)

Amy | 9326 comments I was mixed two not so enthralled with the Sandcastle girls. I think I the one I really liked other than midwives was the double blind!


message 6: by Booknblues (new)

Booknblues | 6844 comments Nicole R wrote: "I have never read anything by Chris Bohjalian, but he is one of those authors that I feel like I should read. Perhaps this is not the book to start with though..."

Ditto


message 7: by Amy (new)

Amy | 9326 comments The Double Bind


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