Tuesday, December 15, 2015
Mini-reviews: Sweet Tooth and Harriet Wolf's Seventh Book of Wonders
Sweet Tooth is not particularly long, but it moves slowly. For a book about spies, there is very little action. Instead, the book is an exercise in literary contemplation. Serena and other characters ponder the point of writing and how it can both inspire and damage. In order to enjoy this story (and I'm not sure all readers will), you have to be willing to re-examine what you think about the role of story and the importance of honesty from your author and characters. Reading Sweet Tooth occasionally feels like listening to a really smug professor as he points out all of the connections you missed and glories in being much smarter than you. There is no doubt that McEwan is an incredibly talented writer. But in this book, I wish it felt more like he was giving you a friendly, conspiratorial wink instead of showing off his brain and his writing.
By Ian McEwan
Anchor July 2013
From my shelves
The story moves in multiple narratives and timelines, as we follow Ruth and Tilton in the present while learning about the histories of their mother and grandmother. It reminded me of The Thirteenth Tale, which is one of my all-time favorite novels. I also felt a definitive Alice Hoffman vibe in places. But I wanted to like this book more than I did. I kept waiting to really connect with the characters and their story, but it never happened for me.
Harriet Wolf's Seventh Book of Wonders
By Julianna Baggott
Little, Brown, and Company August 2015
From the library