The main character does some greatly redeeming things but all along you're wondering, should I like her? She's so... oppressive in her "I know what's best for you" mentality but at the same time, she sacrifices her own happiness for the sake of others in a matter of fact, no pleas for sympathy manner. The end was a surprise for me too and I am known with family and friends as a person who can quickly predict the outcome of a plot. Honestly, I liked not knowing if I liked or disliked the main character... and the end is satisfying. Good story.
I listen to a couple of audiobooks a month and rarely find myself so caught up for so long as I have with this book. Written from the perspective of a (very gifted) college/teenage girl, there were several times when I stopped and considered her descriptive terms (bruised night sky ached overhead, for example).... may be too wordy for some but I found it entirely enjoyable (all 20+ hours of it) and it kept my interest throughout. The narrator was gifted - never fell "out of character" and seemed particularly well-suited for the part. I would definitely recommend this book to others. (All the footnotes, reminds me of school again - and an integral part of the character.) The experience got me to write my first review ever to be sure others can discover this unique and well crafted story.
I listented to this book while driving from St. Louis to Colorado Springs - perfect since the character goes to these places on his bike ride. Like one reviewer says, he's just smart enough to know he's not smart. This is a (improbable) story about a guy who just decides one day to keep riding. Certainly something I've fantasized about before when life at home gets a little too "real." When I read reviews on this book, one complaint was that the main character was too "bland" but I see him much like Forest Gump - just enough character to get people to interact with him, just bland enough for them to act out their own dramas with him. The best strength of this story is the way the various people he comes across confide in him, build temporary relaitonships with him, and impose obligations on him based on their assumptions about who he is. Read it, it's truly interesting.
I like complex characters and symbolism and the weaving together of various lives into a plot. This story is rich in character. I find the humanity and spiritual aspirations of the main character endearing - she has the imperfection of a spiritual leader - striving for "perfection" but failing (and able to look at her failings with good humor). Funny moments and redeeming ones. Good read!
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