My weekend read

My son is on an exchange to Quebec, so we had a rare child-free weekend. We played D&D with friends, went out to the new Storm Crow Alehouse for Valentine’s Day, and I got an entire book read.

I tell people I’m a slow reader – and I am – but a child in the house makes me an even slower reader, clearly.

The book was also a quick read: we were liars, by e. lockhart.

I quite enjoyed it, although I was worried I would’t. Rich teens spending summers on their family’s private island is not something that grabs my interest easily, but I’d heard so many good things about this book that I kept going (it didn’t hurt that bits of it were written in poetry, so the density of words on the page was low and I could zip through at faster-than-usual speed). In the end, it was worth it — there’s a twist, which I had known in advance, but even though I was looking for it, I couldn’t predict it. I had found many of the characters pretty repugnant, but the ending gives you new eyes and new sympathy. I was moved, and hadn’t expected to be.

Family is such a complicated subject; if no one ever wrote about anything else, there would still be plenty of material and variety in books, I think. I’m really fascinated by the density of the subject matter contrasted with the airiness of the writing style. One would think that the result would feel like skating over the surface and not really getting to the meat of anything. However, the book is more like someone running a finger lightly over your skin, and then over a cut you didn’t realize you had, which hurts intensely at the slightest touch. Sure, the narrative could jab a finger right into the wound (and some books do, and that isn’t the wrong way to go about it necessarily), but I’m intrigued by the effects of such delicacy. The zing of pain isn’t less painful for all that. In fact, I think the contrast heightens the shock; the touch is so light, you get lulled into thinking it’s not going to hurt at all.

It’s masterfully done. I’m not sure I could do it.

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