I’ve been delving back into fiction this summer. I’ve been mostly disappointed by fantasy and sf as of late. I was looking up promising books that veer close–magic realism.
Alice Hoffman’s The Story Sisters was recommended. Not a book that makes a father feel all warm and fuzzy. The title sisters and mom are abandoned by father/husband. Without the power of the father, things go awry as the sisters roll through adolescence. (Could’ve predicted that.) Grandma to the rescue, but not until the last quarter of the book.
I liked the writing, pacing, and the character development. The ending seemed a little too neat. Lots of really bad things happened to two of the sisters before the grandmother and allies stepped in to help sister number 3. It seemed like a family just unraveled over several years just so everything will work out in Paris for the survivors of this mess.
This read followed The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Junot Díaz, author. I found this novel more sparkling, more funny, and more brutal. Fast-paced, to be sure. It made more sense than the Hoffman. I thought it also lagged toward the last 25%.
My wife has been bugging me to go watch the last Harry Potter movie. I’m not quite ready for that adventure to be over–at least the cinematic part.
I could overlook the editing problems in the later books of that series, as I can overlook the flaws in these two very good reads. But every year or two, I need to get a really good read into my head. Haven’t found it yet. Anybody out there finding good summer reading? Only a month or so left–better find it fast.
For more literary fiction, I recommend Wendell Berry’s “Jayber Crow.”
In the fantasy realm, I was led to an author a few years ago named Robin Hobb. She likes to write in trilogies, and the whole trilogy really should be read. They’re long books, so it might be too late to start. If you did give her a try, start with The Farseer Trilogy (first book: “Assassin’s Apprentice.”).