Read this one for a book club I am in. It's not typically part of my reading fodder. Having said that, I did enjoy the book. It was a bit convoluted, true. But it still retained a story line I was willing to go along with. The coincidental nature of some happenings was a bit beyond my scope of suspending disbelief but not enough that I quit reading or hated the read like some.
I liked the characters. I could appreciate both their self centeredness as well as their desire to support the family unit. The author did a great job of keeping the story to a flow that was both forward steps and look backs that explained the relevant information. I did not have a personal paradigm for much of the story but that didn't bother me.
In my opinion, the weakest point of the book involved the statue but I get the allegory that was at play. I just didn't feel like it forwarded the story as much as the author probably thought it did. I felt it was a bit of the author attempting to display how clever they were
Having said that, I'd say this book will probably do best with those who like angsty story lines where there are clashes of class and privilege.
half way thru I was still bored. too slow, found myself getting irritated -
I loved State of Wonder so much, this was a snore, not even going to finish it
This was recorded and mastered for CD and needs to be revisited for the digital format. Aside from production quality, the narrator is uninspiring to the point of distraction.
The book is another excellent offering from Ms. Patchett.
My husband and I love to listen to Ann Patchett together. Not many books get both of us hooked, but A.P. catches us both with her character development, good sense of story and style of expression. Her use of language is simply beautiful. Run's narration threw me in the first few minutes but very quickly I realized the narrator allows the written word to carry itself until his flair is called for - and then he is brilliant again. I love it that Patchett is both a realist and someone who refuses to allow despair a permanent place. Her sense of family is whole and imperfect and hopeful. Her conveyance of politics is that it must be values based to be helpful. Somehow she conveys all this with everyday words in graceful arrangements.
This was my first "book on tape" and Peter Francis James was the perfect narrator. I can't imagine anyone else bringing these characters to life.