Sweet Lamb of Heaven

Thoughts slohbylmby Lydia Millet, WWNorton&Co 2016, 250 pages

Challenge: Rooster 2017
Genre: Adult Lit
Type/Source: Hardcover / Library
 Why I read this now: Came off hold before the others…

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.

 

pierating

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12 thoughts on “Sweet Lamb of Heaven

  1. My library just informed me that I can pick this one up now…ruh roh! I have four TOB books checked out already. Maybe this one will be a quick read for me (crosses fingers)?

      1. If you don’t want it, I will take it. But if you want to keep it our have someone else to pass it on to, go ahead. I am going to read it for sure at some point, but I can buy a copy. Gotta keep the publishing industry afloat somehow! : )

  2. Hm, not sure if I’m up for this one but well at least it was a short enough novel. So cool that you are trying to get through the TOB short list and looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the others.

  3. Did you read it in print? I have this one ready to go as an audio hold and I’m super excited because it sounds TOTALLY like something I’d love, but I’m a little nervous about the format and wonder if I should wait for print.

    1. Audio should be a fine way to go — but know that there are excerpts: Passages and references inserted every so often. I think if you know this going in, the change in tone for those parts won’t be too jarring. But when narrator is sharing, audio should be especially great! What do the reviews on Audible say?

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