Friday, October 27, 2006

Straight Up

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for agreeing to review it here on my blog.

Straight Up is a book about 2 women (cousins) dealing with the losses life has handled them in very different ways. Georgia is a musician, the daughter of a deceased jazz pianist; her cousin Fairly is an interior designer whose parents were killed in a car crash while she was in college. The book is told in first-person narrative throughout most of it, jumping back and forth between Fairly and Georgia, with occasional third-person prose about characters named Clarissa and Mary Margaret.

I had high hopes for this book. After all, one of the main characters was a musician, and I love music. It really wasn't one of those books that grabs a person right away. By the author's own admission she shies "away from the 'bang out of the starting gate' formula," feeling that it gives the reader a "chance to get to know the character a bit more." I'll have to admit that the first person narrative does enable a person to see the characters perhaps more deeply than in a book written in the omniscient third person. One of my favorite parts of the book was a very simple 2-line statement by one of the characters:

People see me as a birdbath.
I am a well.
Maybe it was because I related to that particular characterization. But that was about all I could relate to. I couldn't connect with much else in the characters' lives.

I did have a hard time getting into the book, but by about 1/3 of the way through, I knew I had to finish it. However, this isn't a book with a neat and tidy ending, where all your questions get answered. I probably had as many questions after I finished as I had when I started. I can't say I hated the book, but it also didn't leave me wanting to tell all my friends to read it.

Apparently, I am in the minority. The bulk of the reviews I read at Amazon are full of accolades and high praise. This isn't one I'll be rereading, as I am often prone to doing with favorite reads.

1 comment:

jettybetty said...

That is a great quote!
Since you've shared it--I suppose I got most of the good stuff from this book?

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