Of course my first love is short stories. Still, I used to read lots of novels. I mean, up until the past two years, I FINISHED novels. But then this new thing happened where I’d get about three-quarters of the way through and lose interest. It wasn’t that I hated the book - I’d read far enough to know I liked it - just not enough. So you can see why I’m excited by finishing three great novels in the past two weeks:
THE GIRLS by Emma Cline was the first. It’s a great fast read about the Manson girls and I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. It’s also a literary jewel with pitch perfect details that create a time and place.
WE ARE ALL COMPLETELY BESIDE OURSELVES by Karen Joy Fowler was the second. The great writing forced me to put up with my confusion. Then BAM! Along comes the big surprise that answers one question but poses dozens more. I kept reading and learning.
AN UNNECESSARY WOMAN by Rabih Alameddine is the ultimate literary novel. The old woman narrator has given her life to literature - as a translator. She’s a quirky hermit who keeps her work to herself - in tied up boxes in her Beirut apartment - while her mind is totally unbound. I wondered how this brilliantly meandering book could possibly stop - and there it was - the perfect ending.