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Thursday, August 12, 2010

"The Melting Season"

by Jami Attenberg, 2010, 289p, rating=1

It was a chore to read this book.  I thought about giving up but then I pushed forward hoping it'd come together by the end.  Nope, not really!  The mysterious and "not feeling" protagonist (Catherine) stayed pretty much that way ...okay, maybe there was an implication that growth had taken place but I felt that it was one of those imagery endings that did not work here.  Don't get me wrong, I don't need the ending to be neat and explained ... remember, I liked Murakami's Kafka on the Shore, ... but I was not satisfied with the character development here.  A couple of the supporting characters (Valka and Prince impersonator) were promising but there too I craved more.  Plus, I didn't care for how the adult context was presented.  It wasn't necessarily the prudish side of me, I can handle sensuality.  I just felt that it was not done right for my taste.  Consequently, this is an equivalent of the movie rating of "rated R" ...and a bad one at that.  Sorry Ms. Attenberg and Attenberg fans.  Please don't shoot me (or the like).

Book's synopsis:
"Catherine Madison is headed West with a suitcase full of cash.  She's just left the only home she's ever known, a small town in Nebraska, after things fell apart with the only man she has ever known, her husband, Thomas.  She's also left behind her deepest, most shameful secrets--among them a dysfunctional family she's never quite been able to escape and a marriage whose most intimate moments have plagued her with self doubt.  On the road, she's going to become a new person.  Or so she thinks.  But leaving everything behind isn't as easy as she had hoped.  When she reaches Las Vegas, Catherine meets the beautiful but damaged Valka, a single woman struggling with her own painful history.  Against a backdrop of casino lights and celebrity-impersonator shows, the two women forge an unexpected friendship, and as their bond deepens, Catherine is compelled to reveal what she has never told anyone before.  With Valka's help, Catherine realizes that if she is ever to overcome her past, she must finally uncover the truth about her family, come to understand what destroyed her marriage, and prevent her troubled younger sister from repeating her mistakes."
My quote-ables:
" should have more respect for your insides.  The fact that you can conceive, that your body works in that way.  You should not be careless about your power.  There are people who would kill to have that power.  You should appreciate it.  It's your body.  You do what you want with it.  But you respect it." --Valka, pg 271-272

1 comment:

  1. Character development is one of the most important things I look for in a book. If they remain flat throughout, I usually end up hating the book. When it's a 'chore' to read a book, you know you hate it. ;) The cover is pretty though. :P


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