YA: Sexual trauma, the patriarchy, the blind spots we all have, and the choice to still love someone after they do an unforgivable thing. A bit trope-y, a bit rushed, and with teenagers who don’t seem quite real, this is nevertheless a well-written book about important issues.
Ana is a feminist in the first century who wants to be a voice not just for herself but for all the women whose stories are forgotten, ignored, or hidden. Her struggle between society expectations vs what she longed to do with her life… felt very familiar.
Like the romcoms and Hallmark movies that obviously inspired it, there is not as much tension of “will there be a happy ending or not”, but rather how will these stubborn characters find their way to that happy ending freeze frame we know is waiting ahead of the credits.
Once again, Moriarty does not disappoint. I love the balance she has of high family drama, some really f-ed up human behavior… with sweetness bordering on…. dare I say, wholesomeness? It is a winning combination.
I flew through this book and had to make myself slow down because I knew that I would miss important things if I went too fast. While there were things I figured out slightly ahead of our protagonist, there were other things I was pleased to discover along the way.
An ambitious story about a remarkable heroine told in the language and style of earlier American “classic” literature that challenges our assumptions while carving out a well-deserved place in the modern canon of feminist and historical literature. I just wish it has been granted the freedom of its subtitle.
It was an easy read and it had a happy ending. It dragged a bit in the middle and the end… but that might be just my impatience with predictable books. And this book was predictable. The main conflict was set up early on, hammered away for what felt like an eternity, and then resolved in time for the credits. There was no room for symbolism, subtlety, or nuance.
Conversational, quick, detailed, and very descriptive. Philips spends ample time showing us the strains of early motherhood on her protagonist. Her prose is highly believable and honest and she shifts our focus and emotions seamlessly.
This is not a book about anything even if it tries to get there. Yes, there is an ethical question raised at one point but it is so quickly rendered moot, that no one really has to wrestle with it… or rather, Klara doesn’t wrestle with it, Josie doesn’t wrestle with it, and the parents who do are so ancillary that the reader doesn’t feel compelled to give it much more thought past “/shudder, yikes!” before moving on.
It was a fairly quick read and I totally picked finishing it over going to bed on time. You don’t have to be an artist, familiar with autism, a lover of mysteries, or into British novels to really enjoy this book. Those things might help, but really this is a tightly written tragically funny whodunit told from a unique perspective.