Great start, but the plot feels contrived by the end and the book's anti-violence theme and shocking plot twist don't gel very well with the light, comic tone of the whole. An odd misfire, but interesting up to a point.
If Lucy Ellmann were to write a book consisting entirely of essays detailing her opinions and observations, I have every confidence it would be the best thing ever. Because in her fiction, the opinions and observations I've encountered are often strange, unique, and yet they make sense-- sometimes. Even when she's writing on things that have been written about a million times before (aka not strange and unique), she does it in such a way that it's still Uniquely Ellmann. I love this woman's mind.
However, she falls a bit short when it comes to storytelling. If you took out all the oddball commentary, you wouldn't be left with anything much to enthuse over. It'd probably strike you as a bit meh. And for this reason I wish she'd skip the whole character and plot thing, and just give us the world according to Lucy.
Certain topics in this book could've been brilliant essays. For example: Quilts as a product of rage, duck rapists, return to matriarchy (because men are terrorists who obviously don't know how to run things), we're all [bleep]worthy (no plastic surgery). They'd have all been brilliant essays, with no plot to mar what would otherwise be perfect. Still, even if we never see a book consisting entirely of Ellmann's strong opinions, I'll keep on reading, 'cause as I've already said, I love this woman's mind.
I picked up this book because it was new, the cover caught my eye, and it sounded interesting. Plus I wanted to read it while it was still a new book because I often feel like I'm late to the party on many new books. So this year I'm trying to read more new books when they come out.
This book wasn't as great as I'd expected but it was still an enjoyable read. The main character is Harrison, a plastic surgeon who is going through life and seems to be unsure of what he wants. He just got out of a relationship with a woman who was smothering him and acting crazy and now he isn't sure what to do. Then he keeps bumping into a woman named Mimi and they start dating.
Mimi is a somewhat eccentric character with strong opinions who was enjoyable to read about but seemed a little over the top and unrealistic. I'm sure there are people like that out there, but she seemed to be written to be unique and overly cool.
The book isn't really plot driven and Harrison and Mimi go around and do interesting things. He adopts a cat, talks to his sister who lives in London, and prepares to give a speech at his old high school. What held my interest was the writing and the fun style of the book which kept me entertained.
However there wasn't a lot of Mimi in the book and I felt like I didn't get to know her that much. She was the catalyst for change in Harrison's life though so maybe that wasn't the point of the book. Still, I thought it'd be all about her and I wanted to know more of her story.
As far as the book being feminist, I'm not sure I got that vibe. Harrison is a plastic surgeon and does have some qualms about that and what he's doing to women who feel pressured to look perfect. In the end he does come up with an idea to empower women which said that men should give all their money and power to women and that would make the world a better place. So I'm not sure that's really empowering to women if men are helping them by giving them money. But that didn't really bother me, it just didn't really make sense overall.
Still, this book was definitely unique and enjoyable so I would recommend it to anyone looking for something a little quirky and fun.