Monday, March 05, 2007
Ramblings... Mostly About Books
Over the weekend I finished Three Junes by Julia Glass. I have to confess right away that I did not enjoy it as much as I thought I'd enjoy a book that won the National Book Award. I did enjoy it; just not as much as I thought I might.
The book centers around a Scottish family, over a long period of time. It's a book in three sections and the middle and longest section was my favorite. The first and last sections were necessary to support the middle section, but it was what I most enjoyed. The third section felt like an epilogue in a lot of ways, but it also started new story lines that then felt a little chopped off when the book ended.
The first section is told in third person from the point of view of the father, Paul McLeod, while he travels in Greece and thinks back on his wife's recent death and other family matters.
The second section is told in first person from the point of view of the oldest son, Fenno McLeod, who lives in New York. He has gone back to Scotland for his father's funeral. The family issues in this section are certainly very interesting and probably would have drawn me in on their own, but it was Fenno's reflections on his friend Mal and the end of his life that really hooked me. Mal died of AIDS in the in the late 80's or early 90's, which for a gay man of those times seems almost stereotypical, but his character is too well developed to be a stereotype. Fenno, also gay, has managed to avoid "the plague", but he's done so by not hardly living at all.
The third section returns to third person narrative and is from the point of view of Fern, who is not a member of the McLeod family. She appeared in the first section on Paul's trip to Greece. Fenno and his brother Dennis meet Fern through a friend of Fenno's, but no one ever realizes the have a connection-- Paul. It sounded like Fenno and Fern were going to become friends, though, so maybe they figured that out later.
A little while ago I finished Forever In Blue: The Fourth Summer of the Sisterhood by Ann Brashares. It was about par for a Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants book. It felt like this might be the last one, but then I thought that at the end of the third book, so who knows?
I'm reading and enjoying three different books right now; hopefully I'll be reporting on them soon. Somewhat related to my current reading, I've been accused of having an obsession with India. This isn't really this first time. So I'm wondering if maybe I do have an obsession with India. But is that so bad?