- It looked interesting – and what a great title.
Summary from GoodReads:
Dorothy Forrest is immersed in the sensory world around her; she lives in the flickering moment. From the age of seven, when her odd, disenfranchised family moves from New York City to the wide skies of Auckland, to the very end of her life, this is her great gift and possible misfortune. Through the wilderness of a commune, to falling in love, to early marriage and motherhood, from the glorious anguish of parenting to the loss of everything worked for and the unexpected return of love, Dorothy is swept along by time. Her family looms and recedes; revelations come to light; death changes everything, but somehow life remains as potent as it ever was, and the joy in just being won’t let her go.
When I picked up The Forrests I prepared myself for a “literary treat.” I’d gathered from the descriptions on the back that I was in store for beautiful writing – and with a setting in New Zealand, I could not wait to get started.
As I read The Forrests the literary scholar in me warred with the reader who just wanted to enjoy a good book. I fought with myself, admiring the deft descriptions and the way every scene came to life – but the reader in me wanted a story that I could follow. Not an easy story, mind you – but one that I could at least figure out by page 50 or so.
Now, I’ve read Booker Prize winners, I’ve read classics – in fact, I just this year learned to appreciate and enjoy some of the most difficult literature I’ve ever read (To the Lighthouse people.. Virginia Woolf is not for the distracted reader!). But I could not get into this book. And it’s not because there’s a lack of action – some of my favorite books involve quiet stories about every day life. No, it was the muddled confusion that I felt while reading sentences that seemed… well grammatically incorrect. It was the lack of clarification on who was who leaving me to mentally wave the white flag and try to just push my way through the book.
And that’s what I did. I mechanically turned the pages, and instead of enjoying a story about Dorothy, I enjoyed beautifully turned phrases and snippets here and there of what broke through to me.
I’m really disappointed that this book did not connect with me – and maybe the next time I pick it up to try again it’ll work. But this time, especially with a scheduled review of it on the horizon, it did not work for me at all.
About the Author
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