I like to write reviews about books as a way of filing them away in my brain. Unfortunately this led me to join Goodreads which linked my facebook account and started friending all of my facebook friends. I’m maybe too traumatized to use that website again, but here was my review:
I found this book to be an entertaining but emotionally hollow read. There are vividly described characters and a somewhat believable character-driven plot, and I found myself wanting to consume the plot, despite all the things I disliked about the book.
neither dazzled nor got out of the way. Often, a cliche description (someone “flushing” for instance), would be elaborated upon by a second, equally cliche description of the same gesture or event, set off by a comma. The prose drew attention to itself in an unflattering way and felt as if the author fell short of what she aimed to accomplish.
are highly unlikeable overall, but it’s clear the author intended the shifting points of view to solicit sympathy for each character. The author herself, however, seemed to find some more sympathetic than others and this impression was difficult to escape, especially toward the end. On the other hand, the custody hearing scene, taking place in this interlaced way with sympathy shifting back and forth between the two parties, is an example of this technique succeeding.
I think there is a lot left to be said about repression and choice and the self-medicating effects of conformity. There is loss, cowardice in “dreaming smaller” but there is also selflessness, humility. Too much complexity was left on the table.