The Reject Pile:
I haven’t had a dry spell like this is a while. This past month I’ve finished so little of the books I picked up it was almost frightening. True to the name of my blog, these should not be read past page ten.
My opinion may matter if you are looking to pick any of these books up:
A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness –
I read the first chapter in this book. To be honest, I didn’t have great expectations,and was looking for a quick easy read. It had been recommended to me by my dear friend, The Globe Book Reviews, which often leads me to compelling and, sometimes, overlooked novels. The premise of this novel is witches that live among us…. so perhaps a Harry Potter for women? The dialogue was forced and clichéd, and you’re just thrown into a story that seems unoriginal. Boring! Also, I flipped to a further chapter and there seems to be a vampire love interest… hmmm. Anyways not worth my time.
In this heartbreaking, true story, the reader is plunged into the depths of despair, as the author, Goldman, mourns the loss of his young wife, Aura. I’ve been a little melancholic of late, and so, perhaps this book came to me at a bad time. However! The writing is touching and comes from the heart. This man loved his wife and that is admirable and divine. I just felt like it was too sad. Or, the first seven chapters dwelt too much on the loss in his life, which he no doubt feels, and not enough on the life that they shared, not enough celebration . Goldman! I can’t imagine your pain. You must be miserable. But the book was too sad for me, sorry. Also, there is a strange sort of underlying current to the book that I didn’t like. Goldman was trying to save face, trying to prove to his mother-in-law that Aura loved him, and that it wasn’t his fault she died. Kind of a weird premise for writing a story.
The Forgotten Waltz- Anne Enright
When I read in the Globe and Mail, that Anne Enright had published a new book, I was very excited. I LOVED The Gathering, a book that won her the Booker Prize in 2007. Her new book, The Forgotten Waltz, is more lucid and plot driven. What I liked about The Gathering is that it felt like a woman’s thoughts coming out as a confession. Sometimes unclear, sometimes unformed. It was also full of very beautiful insight, little phrases stuck out and embedded themselves in my heart. The Forgotten Waltz is about a woman who has an affair with an acquaintance. There is no glorification, or romanticizing of the relationship, it is seen for what it is: physically driven and not really very meaningful. I was mad at the main character because she seemed to give up a nice relationship, with a kind man, for some asshole that only wanted promiscuous sex. The plot and the character bothered me, but more importantly, the prose contained only a portion of the poetry I had come to love from her. Over all, a tad bit disappointing.
There you have it folks- three books I am returning to the library today, unfinished!