We Love You, Charlie Freeman

Thoughts wlycfbykg by Kaitlyn Greenidge, Algonquin Books Kindle Ed. 2016, 337 pages

Challenge: Rooster TOB Shortlist
Genre: Adult Fiction or Young Adult Fiction…
Type/Source: eBook / Kindle
 Why I read this now: It was offered as a daily deal for $1.99

MOTIVATION for READING: Reading all the TOB Shortlist

WHAT’s it ABOUT:  I refer you to the goodreads blurb:

The Freeman family–Charles, Laurel, and their daughters, teenage Charlotte and nine-year-old Callie–have been invited to the Toneybee Institute in rural Massachusetts to participate in a research experiment. They will live in an apartment on campus with Charlie, a young chimp abandoned by his mother. The Freemans were selected for the experiment because they know sign language; they are supposed to teach it to Charlie and welcome him as a member of their family.

Isolated in their new, nearly all-white community not just by their race but by their strange living situation, the Freemans come undone. And when Charlotte discovers the truth about the Institute’s history of questionable studies, the secrets of the past begin to invade the present.

The power of this novel resides in Kaitlyn Greenidge’s undeniable storytelling talents. What appears to be a story of mothers and daughters, of sisterhood put to the test, of adolescent love and grown-up misconduct, and of history’s long reach, becomes a provocative and compelling exploration of America’s failure to find a language to talk about race.

WHAT’s GOOD:  Surprising, enterprising*, engaging. I am glad to have read it and I don’t know if going totally blind into this was the best idea. But I think it was.

What’s NOT so good: Messy, unwieldy, faltering. (I have a few questions…)

FINAL THOUGHTS: I actually liked this more than I can express and it is the opposite of my feelings for Sweet Lamb of Heaven. In this book I liked it more but found a few faults. With Sweet Lamb, I didn’t like it all that much but couldn’t figure out why. Go figure.

RATING: Three slices of pie. MUD pie!

In his first few days at Courtland County he’d asked, “Y’all do what around here? Fish in ponds? Make mud pies?” and one of them gulped, “We go to the laser show at the CCC’s astronomy lab.” And he’d laughed.

 

∗ enterprise – a project that involves many people and that is often complicated or difficult.

 

pierating

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12 thoughts on “We Love You, Charlie Freeman

  1. You and I talked about this one already but it was the first one off that TOB list to grab my attention. I have since obtained a copy.

    Mud pie. Too funny.

    1. I was so happy to see a pie reference. And I don’t recall us talking about this but that might be because I have a bad head cold… I can’t wait to hear your thoughts!

  2. I have not even heard of this one until it started getting buzz from TOB. I probably would have got it as a deal if I had heard of it. lol Not so sure I would like it, though.

  3. It was a daily deal, and I missed it! I feel like I should make a list of the TOB books so that I have them at hand every day. I can’t wait to see where this one falls on your bracket.

  4. Ooh, Care, you should read We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, though. It’s super good.

    This one, I dunno. I am obsessed with stories about chimp language studies and stuff like that, and there were so many elements of this book that I thought were great. It just felt like too much stuff in one single book, to where the author didn’t get a chance to develop any of her issues fully, and it wound up feeling a touch incoherent. Debut novel problems, I think!

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