I wasn’t sure how to handle this particular book review, so rather than diving in and using my writing to process my thoughts and feelings, I avoided writing anything at all. The more I avoided this review, the more I felt guilty. The more guilt I felt, the more shame I felt. I made a commitment. I set a date. I didn’t follow through. Why didn’t I follow through?
Well, for one reason, I didn’t finish reading the book! So far, the selections I’ve reviewed on this blog were picked by my local librarian. When I started posting my reviews, I thought the blog posts would dovetail nicely with my monthly library hosted meetings. I usually wait until a week or two prior to a book club meeting before I read a book club selection. I read a book or two a week on average. (I’ve read 99 books and counting this year alone!) Therefore, I like to wait so the book club selection will be fresh in my mind.
I love the cover of this book.
Photos don’t do it justice. The cover is white on white. The leaves look like they were sculpted out of clay or maybe cut from paper. This is one of prettiest covers I’ve seen in some time. I was excited to read this book.
From the few chapters I read, Lucy and Edgar: A Novel is a book about Lucy, her eight-year-old son, and her Lucy’s mother-in-law. There’s a great opening scene. Lucy is putting on her makeup while having a conversation with her son, Edgar. It was well-written, lyrical and poetic. But from there…it became apparent that I’m not the right audience for this book.
This book is written in third person, switching between perspectives. There seemed to be a lot of repetition regarding descriptions. For example, the reader is shown the piano from Edgar’s perspective, then from his grandmother’s viewpoint. Edgar sees his mother and thinks she’s somewhere in her thirties, a few pages later, Lucy wonders how she could be thirty-four already. I didn’t finish the book, so I’m not sure how this affected the story. This book is over five hundred pages long. The chapters I read dealt with thoughts and feelings. I was hoping for more action, but then again, I probably didn’t give the book enough time.
I only read 50 pages or so, but there were “flags” in the second and third chapters that made me think that this book wasn’t for me. I’ll admit that I did peek at some book reviews on Goodreads. Some of the reviews I read hinted at some dark chapters (a severed finger, kidnapping, alcoholism) but I can’t verify this for sure.
I found some of the descriptions a bit crass for a literary novel. In the second chapter, there was a scene describing a vibrator found in a nightstand drawer, told from the mother-in-law’s perspective. A chapter later, there’s a detailed description of a man’s sexual organs told from Lucy’s perspective. It really didn’t seem like the kind of book a librarian would recommend without a graphic content warning, but maybe she didn’t know anything about the book, either? Maybe she only looked at the cover.
Anyway, it’s the holiday season. I’m dealing with stuff in my personal life. I tried to force my way through the story, but I wasn’t enjoying myself. It wasn’t the type of book that I wanted to read during the Thanksgiving/Christmas seasons. It was inappropriate for me to read at this moment. Perhaps I would think differently if I tried reading it at another time. I was in the mood for something uplifting, a cozy read, or perhaps a non-fiction story. I wasn’t emotionally ready to read anything this deep or heavy.
Had I known what this book was about, I don’t think I would have announced it on my blog. It wasn’t fair to the readers nor the author. This book has plenty of good reviews. It simply wasn’t a good fit for me.
Did anyone else read this book? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
(I added this review to Stevie Turner’s Open Book Blog Hop. Be sure to check out her site for more reviews!)