Rino Tri Wardoyo Tri Wardoyo itibaren Boralanda, Sri Lanka
Cheesefest. Although I do really like the Wonder Years episode.
My 11 year old son asked me to read this, as he'd started it and was struggling a bit, and wanted to know if it was worth persevering with. I will be telling him yes! An unusual book, and initially hard to get into, it picks up in the second half. Thecharacters are interesting, and the setting and 'history' is imaginative. Different from most children/youth's book, I would recommend it. Will have to read the next one in the series now though, as this was definitely the introduction to the story to come.
Messud's ability to craft compelling, full characters is the treat in reading this book. The styles and habits of each character and their ties to each other ring true enough to effectively engage the reader's full attention and sympathy. Unfortunately, becoming so attached to these richly flawed New Yorkers sets one up for frustration as the prose becomes increasingly long-winded. Messud really abuses dashes in the last several chapters, as if taking longer and deeper breathes as the story, which began in early 2001, creeps towards the inevitable Trade Center attack. At once, the threads weaving the plot together go slack and the book ends with a whimper. I resent 9-11 being used, as it so often is these days, as an excuse for leaving the reader without a satisfying resolution or, at least conclusion. It belittles the non-fiction books about the real life survivors. Worse than deus ex machina, it's as though the storyteller is suddenly seized with post traumatic stress and cannot bear to tell you anymore. Then again, perhaps it speaks to Messud's great skill at rendering her characters so mesmerizingly well that the reader is left pining for more. Still... the dashes. Those GD dashes and that lazy ending - I suppose I'll read her other books now to investigate further.