Please mosey along if you haven’t read this. I’m going to ask WHAT DID THIS MEAN? kind of questions which assumes and guarantees spoilerful issues.
Or… (still here AND haven’t yet read this book? GO READ Lisa’s review over at Books on the Brain. It’s really good.) (You can also visit Melissa and read her review. She found it “incredibly well written” and I would agree with her on many points.)
Golly! So much to talk about! This is a book club book and I’m just going to ramble here because I’m feeling a bit rushed; like I’ve had a bunch too much coffee, ya know? Book Club is tomorrow and we have a big (?) storm coming tonight – it’s already snowing! – and I’m not sure, but I think there are crazy school schedules which may make it easier or harder for everyone to have the motivation to attend book club – most of the members work at the High School.
Back to the book. STAYING FOCUSED. I know somewhere, someone asked the question of what it is called when you FIND the title of a book in the narrative. Anyone? I think it was a true word with meaning but maybe somebody made it up. All I know is that on page 145, I found the words ‘shadow tag’ and I thought it really cool. I noted it in my status updates in goodreads.com. I really took advantage of that cool feature to track sentences, impressions and unknown vocabulary words and I am wondering if anyone noticed them when they opened up goodreads home page?
(I am going to html code it here but goodreads and wp don’t often get along. I say this in a sportscaster-who-does golf voice whisper…)
(sorry. I didn’t work. Still whispering. Here’s the link, though: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/134733672)
WORDS: snick, remanence, lots of arsty words – many I didn’t write down but I did look up the definitions.
Shadows were prominent and ubiquitous in this story.
I’m going to keep rambling and I don’t care if this is much of a cohesive review. Kind of like a book club meeting!!!!
Here are some of the pics of the paintings mentioned in the book:
Boy Howdy can WP be a photo formatting nightmare…
Lots of COPLEY Connections - like BONNARD. Bonnard is a painter that I am not familiar with enough to see and remark if I ever see his works. I do think I’m good enough to view some artists’ work and *KNOW* who painted it before I read the little label underneath. But the name Bonnard does not evoke anything to me. Do know, I have never taken an art appreciation class. Always wanted to but never had the time.
What makes Bonnard a Copley Connection (those random coincidental links between books you read) is that the protagonist in The Sea was writing a book on Pierre Bonnard the painter. COOL, huh? :)
I did not like the husband, Gil the painter nor his wife Irene very much. The kids were great but we didn’t get enough of them. Riel was the most fascinating but then, she had a bigger part to play. Actually this part she had to play was one of the minor pleasant surprises for me. Was Irene writing to Riel the whole time!??! I wanted to go back and read through her journal entries a bit more but then didn’t care enough to do so.
And, I have a few questions. What do you think was the significance of the Xmas –> xMas –> xmAs –> xmaS? Did you even notice it?
Was Gil really Stoney’s father or not!??! I am entirely baffled and could be convinced either way.
Do you think Riel has the right to be mad at her mother for not saving herself for the kids’ sake? I do.
I’m got more questions and interesting tidbits in my “Reading Progress” if anyone is interested.
I have to go! Gotta hit submit and face the consequences.
Well, OK, quick recap for anyone who is still here and didn’t read the book: It’s about marriage; a bad BAD marriage where there is violence. American Indian heritage is a theme or a context. Alcoholism is another. The setting is Minneapolis in the winter time. Told through the wife’s true and false journal entries as well as a third perspective… darn – what’s that word?
Anyway, the goodreads.com blurb states this:
In brilliantly controlled prose, “Shadow Tag” fearlessly explores the complex nature of love, the fluid boundaries of identity, and one family’s struggle for survival and redemption.
I give it THREE pie slices.
Other REVIEWS: courtesy of Fyrefly’s Book Blog Search
Even though this book wasn’t the charmer I had hoped, I still want to read Erdrich’s The Master Butchers Singing Club and maybe The Plague of Doves.