The book is highly acclaimed in the many reviews it has received. Yet, I found it to be a tedious and challenging read.
Rachel, Megan, Jess, Anne…trying to follow the narrator is like trying to hold quicksilver in one’s hand…impossible. Perhaps one has to have a rested, clear mind with no distractions around but I read a lot, a great variety of books being a member of a book club and I have found when a book really engages me, I can be in the middle of a hurricane and my attention is focused and held. This book didn’t do it to me or for me.
I found myself rereading pages trying to refocus my attention more to ascertain who the current was. I needed to do this over and over and over. Maybe I just wasn’t in the mood for this kind of narrative; maybe the style of presentation was not to my liking; maybe my mind was too busy with distractions. Whatever the case, this just wasn’t my kind of read.
WE MAY HAVE SOME THINGS IN COMMON
I think Rachel is our primary protagonist, an alcoholic who sporadically attends AA meetings, married at one time, currently separated, unemployed and seemingly friendless. I can relate to some of her characteristics. I no longer work so my social circle, once much larger has diminished. I drink though I don’t feel I have the need of an AA association. But we differ, Rachel and I. I don’t do galleries or museums, I have never ridden a bus in Toronto though I like the Go train and the subway. I particularly like the Go train for the same reasons as Rachel likes her train, imaginary day dreams about the people who live in the homes along the rail route though I never get into it as deeply as she.
I am about a third of the way through the book, our victim is missing and Rachel is ‘up for the chase.’ I will plough on as the book club meeting is on Monday and I am hoping to have read the book by then.
A COMMENT ABOUT THE VALUE OF BELONGING TO A BOOK CLUB
I like belonging to a book club, particularly the one to which I currently belong, Petticoat Creek Book Club. Our librarian representative is tremendously well-read and very knowledgeable in so many more areas beyond just books. She is very current and up on all that is going on in the news. She is articulate, intelligent, analytical and astute in many ways and has proven to be a very strong and appropriate moderator for our club.
The club membership varies but is predominantly women. Again, each of these persons has displayed a sharp analytical mind with a capacity to listen to contrary views. None has shown a negativity or opposition to views expressed by others though some opinions have been quite diametrically differing from the mainstream. Some have amazing powers of recall able to refer to specific sections of reading which I have totally forgotten about. It is a pleasure to hear their views, their opinions and their analysis of the books we read. Each of them have displayed great depth of literacy, strong and constructive analysis of what is being read and a generous openness to the opinions of others.
Finally, belonging to a book club has afforded me the opportunity of reading new types of books, different styles of writing, and genres beyond my normal choosing. For that I am most appreciative. I would never have read books like Caleb’s Crossing, or Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand, or The Secret had I not been a member of this book club.
These folks are just great !