Saturday, August 2, 2008

Review: Forgive Me by Amanda Eyre Ward

I loved, loved, loved Amanda Eyre Ward's other books, How To Be Lost and Sleep Toward Heaven. When I saw she had a new book out, I put it on my 'to be read' list immediately.

This book has her trademark great writing, easy readability, and somewhat dark subject matter. There's nothing to not like in her style of writing. This particular book was about apartheid in South Africa, a subject that is pretty confusing to me in many ways. Heavy material, too - reading about the injustices and deaths of people in that part of the world, and trying to figure out how I could have been playing on the beach in California innocently while it was all going on; wondering what is going on now while I sit in my easy chair and read. It's that kind of book - one that will inspire deep and somewhat disturbing thoughts about life and the world at large.

But the writing in this book in particular confused me greatly. I was confused while reading it, turned back to see if I'd missed something, read it again, looked back again. After I finished the book, I couldn't sleep trying to figure out what I'd missed. Finally, in the middle of the night, I woke up realizing what had happened in the book. It seems to me kind of a sleight of hand, author-style. I'm pretty sure she intentionally tried to "trick" the reader here. I'm sorry I can't say more, because it would be a major spoiler, but I was not happy about the way it turned out. It made me want to read the book all over again, this time with the knowledge I now possess. I don't have time for that, and don't really appreciate reading a book only to feel like I should read it again to get the whole experience.

If you want to read this book, go ahead. Write me when you're done though, so I can see if I'm just stupid, or if it's really as confusing as I thought it was.


Fern Chasida said...

i listened to this book on audio after listening to how to be lost and loving it. this was a hard book to get through. i'll be honest - i don't remember it that well so i'm not sure what you're talking about. you can email me and jog my memory though.

jay are said...

I already know I don't have time for this book, but now I'm so curious. Since I likely won't read it (though I loved her other stuff) maybe you should just email me what the deal was. I'm curious now!

Kathleen said...

I've never read anything by this author, I'll have to check them out.