MOTIVATION for READING: The Tournament of Books by the Morning News – I have a shot at reading ALL the books on the short list. This is the 7th.
WHAT’s it ABOUT: In one sense, this is a story of a woman with a young daughter who realizes her marriage is a sham and flees her husband. But there is so much more that boggles the brain that I can’t even begin to describe it all. The fact that all of this is shared in less than 300 pages is amazing. It is about language and communication. It is dystopic and end-of-the-world fears. It is about us versus them. It’s quite freaky actually, but also extremely composed. Not tense, really, just shaky and slightly off-key. Everything is not quite right but not unbelievable even when reality REALLY gets distorted. It’s all a dream, right? Just a bad dream.
Having this book as your only read on a deserted island would NOT be recommended.
WHAT’s GOOD: The ability of the author to successfully make you doubt everything along with the narrator and yet also be separate.
What’s NOT so good: I can’t put my finger on why I didn’t ‘enjoy’ this more. It is that vague unsettling that makes it good. But.
FINAL THOUGHTS: I think I’m just perplexed and left disillusioned. I am glad it’s over. It reminds me of a book somewhere that discussed the basics of the word ‘disease’: dis- the opposite of or absence of, -ease freedom from pain or trouble of the body or mind. I am willing to read something else by Ms Millet. Any suggestions?
If you love the concepts and mysteries of language, you might want to consider this. If you are at all enraged by politics at the moment, you might want to skip this.
RATING: Three slices of pie.
LOTS of pie mentioned: pumpkin, fake mincemeat, and pecan; cherry pie, berry pie, honey pie and chicken pot pie. Pie dough, too.
PS There is a fascinating 5 star review on goodreads by “Jill” (I only follow her) who described the story as “like a Rubik’s cube.” If you are interested in her thoughts, I suggest you go find her post.