This blog is now retired. My new site is at: Predictably Irrational.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Book Review: The Uses of Enchantment by Heidi Julavits

This book had so much potential.

Although it took me more weeks to finish this than any other previous book, it was still very well-written and well defined. Quite original, really.

There is three perspectives to this story: one from 'what might have happened', one from the present, and one from another character's perspective.

The story is recounted from Mary Veal. The 'what might have happened' portions detail an event that occurred to Mary at age 16.

The present is also recounted from Mary, now as an adult, nearly 14 years later.

The second character involved in the third perspective is her psychologist, who is helping the teenage Mary deal with the event that occurred to her.

All of this would be very very good if much of the story tied up what really happened. Mary as a teenager is a very different person than she is as an adult and really, there is no explanation as to why that is. There is no real explanation what really happened to Mary and what she had been up to the past nineteen years.

In the end, there was confusion in what occurs that I don't bother trying to re-read anything to get a better understanding. I am just relieved to have it finish so that I can continue on the next one.

This next one - "What the Dead Know" by Laura Lippman, has great potential. Although I don't want to get too excited, since I really haven't had an outstanding read since I've started these book reviews, I find myself looking forward to reading what's about to happen next. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this will turn out better than I expect.

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