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Monday, December 22, 2014

The Big Finish?

Although not superstitious, I'm relieved the last novel** I'll likely finish in 2014 was a big winner; would've been a drag to end the year with something just OK. What was (or likely will be) the last book you'll finish this year? Winner or groaner?

"Everything I Never Told You" (2014) by Celeste Ng, tells a wholly believable story of the effect a family tragedy has on the surviving members. The last novel I read using this theme that struck me as equally authentic was Anna Quindlen's "Every Last One" (2010). Not coincidentally, I finished Ng's book in one sitting just as I did Quindlen's back in 2011 (book journals - gotta love them).

In particular, Ng's debut expertly etches the relationship between three siblings. Nathan Lee is the oldest; his whiplash ambivalence toward his younger sisters - dismissive to tender to mean to protective, often in a span of minutes  - felt so familiar I stopped several times while reading. It was easy to recall myself at Nathan's age - a self-centered and casually cruel college freshman older brother. This book has much to recommend it, not least of which is prose that never calls attention to itself and characters as real as your friends and neighbors. Let me know your reaction when you read it.

** More good news: I specified last novel above because I'm eagerly anticipating my yearly doorstop disguised as Christmas gift. Traditionally, these leviathans have been non-fiction and my wife and daughter have yet to strike out on their pick(s) for me. Stay tuned for news on this year's tome.**           

1 comment:

  1. Was the book you mention at the end of this post in fact "Reflections From the Bell Curve"? just curious...d.