Wednesday, May 5, 2010

set pieces

After This by Alice McDermott
Rating: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
Genre: historical fiction
Review: All in all, I really liked this book. The slow, languid pace somehow fits the story perfectly. My one complaint is that the story treats time almost like a stone skipping over water. At the end of one chapter, two people meet each other, and at the beginning of the next, they are married with three children and a fourth on the way. Then, suddenly, we are another 5 years or so in the future (references to WWII and the Vietnam War anchor the story generationally, but there's very little to give solid reference points as to how much time has passed from one point in the story to another). I understand that all the day-to-day details of family life are not the point of this book, but I did find it more satisfying when McDermott allowed us deeper into the lives of the Keane family rather than just skimming the surface.

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