Thursday, September 17, 2009

Breath, Eyes, Memory

by Edwidge Danticat

The thing I like about first novels that get rave reviews, make best-seller lists, and are chosen for Oprah's book club is that someday I would like to write a first novel that gets rave reviews, makes best-seller lists and is chosen for Oprah's book club (though I would laugh in her face and spite myself out of a million additional sales, but more on that another time).

I probably wouldn't have read this particular first novel except that my dad recommended it. And left it at my house, and I am both a daddy's girl and lazy enough to read what is at hand. I tend to avoid books that have been chosen for Oprah's book club. Sure, lots of the books on this list have been on the OBC, but I either read them before I knew that, or I had some other reason (like laziness) to pick it up.

I have to say though, I'm generally a woman of strong opinions, and with this book I just don't know. I don't think I liked it, but I can't say for sure if it was the book's atmosphere (it seemed parched) or the unlikeable characters (that mother, and her mother, might just have been doing what they know to do, but come on now!) or it might just be that there didn't seem to be much plot or movement.

On the other hand, maybe I did like it. It had a mostly exotic location (Haiti) which I generally like. And the girl seemed intelligent enough. And there was that whole thing about the pig.
All in all though, I think no. Nope, I didn't like it. I don't think.


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