Somewhere in my birthday mid-week weekend, I managed to finish this book at last.
And, thankfully, the NYT Bestseller List has a new #1 with the terrifyingly-titled “Homefront” by Kristin Hannah.
I took a couple of days off after finishing the book to decide if I had a big review in me, and I just don’t think I do. It’s not that I don’t have the time, it’s that I don’t think the book can really be reviewed past what I’ve already offered in previous posts. It’s trite, it’s overwrought, the conclusion is numbing in its cloying serendipity and I just… can’t.
Besides, I wouldn’t be able to get into my major problems with it without giving away the ending. But what I can say is that the points when this book began playing with the idea of a book or a page or a piece of writing as literally unreadable or as a picture that provides more content than a page of text… it brought up some real post-modern rage that I thought I had buried in Undergrad.
I leave you with some face-melting quotes to help prove my point:
“When I got off the plane, after eleven hours of travel and forty years away, the man took my passport and asked me the purpose of my visit, I wrote in my daybook, “To mourn,” and then, “To mourn and try to live,” he gave me a look and asked if I would consider that business or pleasure, I wrote, “Neither.” “For how long do you plan to mourn and try to live?” “For the rest of my life.” “So you’re going to stay?” “For as long as I can.” “Are we talking about a weekend or a year?” I didn’t write anything.
No. No, you didn’t. You didn’t arrive in New York City by plane a day after the World Trade Center attacks and respond to basic TSA questioning with metaphysical explorations of your soul and then just “didn’t answer” as to how long you planned to stay in the country. You would have been detained, possibly strip searched, possibly deported. I get the point and all, but there are limits to creative license.
“At the end of my dream, Eve put the apple back on the branch. The tree went back into the ground. It became a sapling, which became a seed.”
Two things worth noting: first, this is probably the least subtle allusion I’ve ever seen. Second, this quote is followed by a flip book showing someone falling up back into the World Trade Center. I shit you not.
In any event, read it at your own risk.
Find the first and second parts here: