walkitout (walkitout) wrote,
walkitout
walkitout

_The Widower's Tale_, Julia Glass (2/3rds read)

Once again, I read this for my book group in Mayberry, NH (<-- not its real name). This book generated a great conversation, but none of us really liked the characters and we felt the plot was sort of a catchall for a bunch of Issues (like _a lot_ of Issues) and the characters were marched through the plot with no real development. We thought it was long, altho we disagreed on whether Percy Darling was funny/appealing or not, initially and as the book progressed.

I have a general objection to books about ecoterrorism, because I just don't see it. Like facial recognition actually working, it occurs in fiction far more often than In Real Life.

I _thought_ there was a timeline problem with 4 year old Rico, adopted from Guatemala, however, if the book is set in 2007/2008, his existence as the adoptee of a 51 year old single mother is not a problem. The book was published in 2010, and books are generally largely complete a couple years before they are published through traditional publishers, so this is compatible. Mitt Romney is mentioned as being on his way to Utah, which is a little confusing, however, gay marriage and the Massachusetts health care laws are both components of the plot, so this all fits with a 2007/8 time frame. The fact that this novel really only makes sense if it is set within an approximately 36 month time frame is a little weird (references to Obama mean it can't really be pushed before 2006; Rico's presence and age makes it hard to push it much after 2009).

There were slightly more difficulties within the group keeping track of the characters and their relationships to each other, than is typically the case. There are always some problems (forgetting character names, etc.), but it was kinda bad with this book because of the character development problems, the huge size of the cast, the lack of well defined protagonist(s), etc.

It's kind of awful. I don't recommend it. I only read the first 2/3rds (or a bit more) of the book. I don't know why people love Julia Glass novels; presumably her audience is Not Me.
Tags: book review
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