Friday, May 12, 2006

Family And Other Accidents

This book has been receivng fabulous reviews and I was super excited to read it. As soon as it arrived in the mail, I clawed at the packaging like a savage, settling down with a cup of tea and my new book, under a soft blanket on the couch with the dogs at my feet. Heaven on earth! I love getting wrapped up in a novel, being taken away to a different time or family or way of life.

There is no doubt that Shari Goldhagen is a gifted author. She is the kind of writer I aspire to be, weaving subtle nuances and keen observations together to make a very well written story. She details the lives of brothers Jack and Connor and as the novel progresses, their wives and children. The brothers bond, they fight, they have their own issues and troubles and life goes marching by as it always does. Shari is clever and skillful with words and this debut novel has received stellar ratings. But... I couldn't get into it, I didn't love it, I didn't call all my friends and say, "YOU MUST READ IT!" as I've done many times in the past.

My interest waned halfway through and I put the book on the table next to my bed and did not pick it up again. Instead I moved on to something new.

I have to be in a certain mood for a certain type of book. From time to time I want a light chick-lit book for entertainment. Other times, I want a good memoir. In between I might fancy a mystery novel or dig into a family saga. So while Shari's book is loved by every other person who has read it, I simply didn't dig it. Maybe you will begin page one and not be able to put it down until you flip to the very last page. If that's the case, let me know. Tell me what you think.


Anonymous Anonymous said...
I'd recommend giving it another try. I think your reaction is rare. @ 4:10 PM  
Blogger Whiskers said...
I can't say I disagree. I'll check to see the consensus. Happy mother's day! @ 8:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...
I found it to be the other way around, actually. The first half of the book was weak (so much so that I almost gave up). But I thought it got stronger toward the middle as the plot (and characters) began to ripen and get a little more complex. In the end, I thought, well, that wasn't great but it wasn't a total waste of time either. So my rating is a 3/5 stars.

Critically speaking, there were way too many attempts to slip "wink-wink" pop-culture references into the prose. The Kennedy motif also seemed like a stretch. (More than once, I actually rolled my eyes ... it just seemed forced.) I was also surprised to find two serious typos in the first chapter alone. Kind of a letdown for a Doubleday release. @ 7:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...
I was really stunned by how good the reviews have been. I honestly can't say I get the appeal from either a stylistic standpoint or in terms of general plot development. But more power to her for the fab reviews. @ 7:29 PM  
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