Wednesday, August 18, 2010


It took me a long time to read this book. The characters just didn't leap off the page as they did in the two other Julia Glass novels that I've read. Sometimes it seems that an author who wins a big book award then feels s/he has a license to give us a really long book. And some books, even though they're long, I don't want them to end. This was not one of those. There were a lot of interwoven plot lines, some of which I found to be somewhat sleep-inducing, and when I got buried in one of those, I had to give up for the night. The main and most interesting plot line is that of Greenie and her husband Alan, New Yorkers with a small child named George. Alan counsels couples, and Greenie owns a bakery but has been offered a job as the chef for the governor of New Mexico. Since her marriage is not in a good place at the moment anyway, Greenie and young George head to Santa Fe. This estrangement allows both parties to follow up on some relationships from their youth. Less compelling are the stories of Walter, a gay restaurateur, and Saga, a slightly brain-damaged young woman who helps find homes for abandoned pets. Actually, the least enjoyable plot line was that of Walter's teenage nephew Scott, who has been sent to live with and work for Walter. His misbehavior is annoying and frustrating, and I kept waiting for Walter to give him the boot. In fact, Walter generally worries that he's overreacting, and I'm constantly thinking he's too much of a softie. It's not that I didn't enjoy this book; it's just that the author's other two are so much better.

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