It's Mrs Readalot's Book Club time again. Read any good books lately? June's Book of the Month was chosen by this month's Book Club Host, Helen at One Trick Pony...
Novel About My Wife by Emily Perkins
Mrs Readalot has never read any Emily Perkins books, even though Ms Perkins lives in New Zealand. You'd think she would have at least heard of her, but no. Apparently this book won some kind of award, so it had potential to be a good read. I'll let Mrs Readalot tell you about it in her own words...
Mrs Readalot says:
The book started well with a snappy first paragraph. Plus it was written in the first person; I like stories told by "I" - they let me get inside the main character's head.
I have to say, I wasn't gripped. There were no all-nighters; no laying awake wondering what would happen next - but at first I liked it well enough. It was well-written, nicely described, interesting characters - though I didn't love any of them.
The story centres around Ann, the thirty-something wife of the storyteller, Tom.
As the story progresses you find yourself wondering, what is up with Ann?
Is she bi-polar? Is she haunted? Is she being stalked? You really don't know. And neither does Tom.
From the first paragraph you know Ann has died, but not how.
You just hope that all things will become clear by the end.
At least that's what I always hope for any books I read... that at the end you will understand what happened and why.
But this book left me confused and with many questions unanswered.
What was that scar on her arm from??
Who was Hallie to Ann (and why did he freak her out?)
What was Ann in her former life in Australia?
Why was she the way she was????
And why O why did the book end so abruptly.
I am unsatisfied.
Finishing a book should not leave you unsatisfied. You should not be feeling like there are huge chunks of crucial information that somehow got left out. The pivotal points of a story cannot be hinted at. They must be clearly told.
Otherwise simpletons like me will be left guessing, confused, annoyed and unsatisfied.
I was disappointed by the ending. And the unanswered questions.
I'd really appreciate it. Because I was left feeling like pages with important information had been torn out, leaving me scrabbling to piece together what happened and why.
If these gaps had been painted in clearly this could have been a gripping and clever story.
But sadly, it only left me empty and eager to put it behind me.
Evn though it was annoying, Mrs Readalot still rates
Novel About My Wife: ♥♥♥♥♥
Mrs Readalot does not like books which try to be clever but ask the reader to draw their own conclusions, leaving threads dangling messily.
Mrs Readalot thinks truly clever books answer all your questions, tie up all loose ends, and come to a satisfying conclusion.
Sadly, this is the second book Mrs Readalot read this month where the author seemed to think it was a good idea to have no satisfactory conclusion. The much-celebrated "Everything is Illuminated" by Jonathan Safran Foer also left her rather annoyed. Everything was not illuminated!! A very frustrating outcome, leaving Mrs R feeling like she had wasted two days. There were some dazzling snippets of poetic beauty... but a completely unsatisfying end. Bah.
Please you young writers-of-the-future, this approach is NOT clever. It does not make us love your books. Post-modernism be damned.
This month our linky is being hosted by Helen over at One Trick Pony, so go visit Helen to link up your book reviews (and spend some time visiting the other reviews and leave your comments... that's what makes the book club fun)
Remember you don't have to have read the Book of the Month - you can review any book you choose. The linky will remain open throughout the month of July. The link to this post will remain in my sidebar so you can find all the details when you are ready to link up your posts.