Thoughts by J.Robt Lennon, Graywolf Press 2021, 231 pages
Genre/Theme: Adult Lit / Trauma and Memory
Type/Source: Tradeback / Jessica the Blue Stocking sent it to me and I’m sending to Amy
What It’s About: Our unnamed protagonist finds herself renting a room after moving to a new neighborhood and embarks on finding a job and a place to live. She explores the subdivision, has adventures, purchases a smart device who attempts to keep her out of harms’ way, and she makes friends with a small boy and a crow. Sort of. She and the crow are more like acquaintances. She bluffs her way into a really strange job as a Phenomenon Analyst with experience in quantum tunneling. Then the windy weather picks up and she starts to remember things. It is truly an odd tale told strangely. Like a fever dream.
“Our Lady (of Perpetual Forbearance) shunned any adulation for her good deeds. Her followers took it to heart. They were so devoted to ignoring her achievements that they completely forgot she existed.”
Thoughts: Yet our MC is endearing somehow. I loved the way that her thoughts and actions were often in juxtaposition. Oh yea –there’s a puzzle that the boarding house proprietors want her to work on. The puzzle shifts with her memories. The whole thing was deftly and creatively told. I was along for the ride.
The situations and the memories and the angry fights with the bakemono, as well as the image of the puzzle suggest that she has experienced severe trauma of a car accident and suggests trauma of a failed marriage involving children. At least or at most, that’s what I got. The ending suggests hope but doesn’t offer much explanation.
My initial reaction to this scene was annoyance. How dare these disturbing alternate realities interrupt my seduction of this beautiful, smoky man!
Rating: Four slices of pie. Apple pie
“I left a slice of pie in my desk drawer,“ she said mournfully. “It’s probably halfway to the moon by now.”
Try this Roquefort Cheese & Caramelized Onion Tart from the Spruce Eats
3 thoughts on “Subdivision”
I really enjoyed the puzzle aspect of this book. I certainly developed a hypothesis on what was going on and why. I would like now go back and read some more from Lennon since I liked this one so much.
I wasn’t sure I would have the patience for this but her words to feelings juxtapositions captured my whimsy. or something.