Monday, September 27, 2010

Imperfect Birds - Anne Lamott

“Each has to enter the nest made by the other imperfect bird.”

Rosie Ferguson has everything going for her. She's smart, athletic, pretty and popular and about to rule the school as a senior. Too bad her mother and stepdad seem hellbent on making her life miserable. But Rosie has a secret. Her mother Elizabeth has her own issues. As a recovering alcoholic, she suffers from depression and paranoia about her daughter's safety and the fidelity of her husband James. The relationship between the three is strained at best. It all comes to a head when the truth about Rosie comes out, almost tearing the family apart.

Let me start by saying I really enjoyed "Bird by Bird", Lamott's book on writing. I couldn't wait to read her fiction, to salivate over the diction, the carefully constructed dialogue. Unfortunately I had several issues with this book.

I found it difficult to get into this book, rereading the first couple pages over several times. The story also drags for the first 100 pages. While I understand this was an ARC (Advanced Reading Copy) and not the final draft, the core of the book should already exist and as is, I wasn't engaged as a reader.

The story felt extremely real but I was frustrated by the characters. No one was likeable. Every teenager is drinking or doing drugs and Elizabeth and James' marriage is strained. Add to that Rosie and Elizabeth seem to have interchangeable voices. Rosie's voice felt extremely mature for a teenager and not always consistent. And while I do think the book is meant to make the reader feel uncomfortable I found it difficult to enjoy any aspect of the story.

In the end I was left feeling unsatisfied and most likely would not have finished the book if it hadn't been an Early Reviewer copy from LibraryThing.

Rating: 2/5

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