Books and Book Clubs
If you really love to read the minute details of your friend’s Facebook pages, then you might enjoy this book. There is really nothing more than the daily events of an extended family’s lives through each year from 1953-1986. Granted this is the 2nd book in a trilogy that gives a chapter to all 100 years but I wouldn’t want to go back to the first nor am I waiting anxiously for the 3rd. The extremely slow pace that the book moves makes staying interested a daunting task.
I just can’t stay interested in learning about what these characters are thinking and doing. They perform all these tasks with major events of the time taking place in the background. But even the impact of these events on the characters is presented in a lackluster way. There could have been much more depth if the constraint of the format wasn’t so strict. You want to learn more details and the story line of a character just when the author jumps to another perspective.
The subtle mention of the times – including the cold war, political assassinations and turmoil, hostages, oil prices, aids, Vietnam and others – are like a background scenario with not enough substance to capture the reader’s attention. This is not so much a book you shouldn’t try but be warned, you have to enjoy the common everyday wanderings of the characters.
I would refrain from devoting much time to this read. Not entertaining and surely not captivating. I suggest looking into one of the many other Jane Smiley books that illustrate her talent much better. So consider this your Early Warning about Early Warning………..