**** Wonderful writing but a bit ‘bulky’
I’m always very cautious when I read a literary fiction book. I know that I won’t like some things of it. I imagine that the ending could be very sad. It still ends up that sometimes I attempt to read one of these books and sometimes I’m lucky. This time I’ve been lucky.
I liked this novel. I couldn’t give it the fifth star because of some negative aspects that I couldn’t ignore and that reduced my enjoyment of the book.
But I prefer to start talking about what’s good in this book.
First of all the prose is wonderful. Despite the length and the countless digressions, the text flows well. For writers like me reading books like this entertains and is an opportunity to enrich their prose.
The plot itself is anything but predictable. The book, which at first glance may seem like a romance novel with a love triangle, is actually a book about love, meant as the subject and not as the purpose of the story. The fact of not being inserted within a genre in itself makes it unpredictable, but the way it is built makes you wonder what might happen in the next page and especially to which character will the story shift.
The characters are so deepened that it seems they are real, despite their excesses.
Added to this is the presence of plenty of interesting information, within the digressions mentioned earlier. Some might perceive them as info-dump, but in my opinion they are an essential part in the characterisation of the characters and the setting. After reading this book you have the impression of having learned something new and this is one aspect that I really appreciate in fiction. In particular, the reader is given the opportunity to take a look at the American youth of the 80s, something that never had happened to me in the past.
There are, however, also some negative aspects.
First of all, the presence of too much information, no matter how interesting, makes you want to read in a hurry to go to the point, to return to action and find out what will happen to the characters. However, this often leads to inadvertently go too fast in reading the scenes when something important and unexpected happens. And so you find yourself going back and re-read, but now you have missed the moment that would make you enjoy that particular plot twist.
Another sore point concerns the ending which in my opinion is too melancholic. After reading such a long book and after having suffered with the characters I wanted it to finish with an open ending characterised by at least some hope. It would have been nice to close the book with the omen of a smile.