Saturday, January 27, 2018

Did I Ever Tell You?

Everything I Never Told You 

(Originally read on October 9, 2015)

Here's the obligatory quick read that I usually need after tackling a big brick of a book.  This is a family drama, looking at how different family members react to each other's expectations, before and after a traumatic, life-changing event.  If books were paintings, this would be a watercolor of a rainy day, all gray and pastels.  Muted and sad, but making a pretty picture nonetheless.  

The ending was beautiful, as it was written, with one problem.  SPOILERS FOLLOW: Marilyn feels like she pressured Lydia into taking her own life.  We, the readers, find out that this is not so.  But, after I finished, I realized that Marilyn is never given this knowledge.  No one except the readers and Lydia actually know what happened.  I would think that being convinced you contributed to your daughter's suicide, as a not-psychopathic mother, would destroy a woman, not set her up for a reunion with her somewhat estranged husband.  

The only other complaint is how narrowly most of the characters are defined.  It's almost like the author came up with five descriptors or drivers for each character, and almost everything they do and say reinforces those themes.  I guess what I am saying is that the bones, or architecture, of the story are too close to the surface and it shows in places.

It's still a very nice read.  It was cathartic, in an odd way.

Final Call: 

This is completely worth the time it takes to read it.

If you like this, try:
Never Let Me Go, by Kazuo Ishiguro, because I think it's the only other book I've described as a watercolor painting.