Sunday, July 13, 2008
A Little Sunday Reading v. 13
I've read two very lovely books this week: The Story of a Marriage by Andrew Sean Greer and Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Stout.

Both were so beautifully written that I could not stop reading. I felt I was living with the characters. A the very least, I was their diary and was privy to the most intimate of details. And I love intimate details. Olive Kitteridge, in particular, was enjoyable because of my recent obsession with short stories. The book was told in 13 separate stories.

Both books has a few things in common. I want you to read them both (back to back) and agree.

First, Greer and Stout have the "flawed character" down. Pat. The characters in these books were so flawed. Yet Greer and Stout seemed to withhold judgment. And managed to provide me with just enough empathy that I did as well. Unusual. I normally judge the pants off of flawed characters.

Second, the way Greer and Stout portray marriage and partnership was simultaneously harsh and lovely. I ached with the hardships and smiled at the loving details.

Last, I've begun to be a bit obsessed with plots that introduce you to multiple characters and then weave them together in a subtle way. It seems so difficult. To make the reader wonder why you're reading this and then smack them over the head with the obvious connection. Love that moment of discovery.

Both books are great summer reading. And if you'd like more suggestions, NPR has your back.

And to read more reviews, be my friend on goodreads.

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Anonymous quakerdave said...

Dear Wife tells me that "Story of a Marriage" has a whole lot in it about CO's during WW2. I'll have to check it out, after I finish my novel about CO's in WW2...

Anonymous cupcake said...

You should read "My Sister's Keeper" if you haven't already. It is told by numerous characters involved in the story and done really well. I read the entire book in one day.

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