Review by: Stacy Palm
*** 3 out of 5 stars
Release Date: 9/15/2015
First, let me clarify that my 3 star rating is a neutral rating. This is a very difficult book for me to review. I'll start with what I believe is the premise. This is a book about marriage, and about individual perspectives on the same situation. It's a book that brings to light that every person experiencing a situation, even if the situation seems mundane, brings with them their own prior knowledge, and their own view hinged upon all the information that they know that others may not. It is also a book about compromise and what that compromise is worth to a person.
The reasons I enjoyed this novel and would recommend it. The character development is astounding, after reading this novel I know these characters, inside and out. Honestly, this book is relying heavily on the fact that the characters are the driving factor for you to turn the page because there isn't much else there. So they are lively, vivid, characters. These characters do seem to propel the story along so that you feel lost in their world. The beginning and younger years were by far my favorite chapters of the book.
The reasons I didn't enjoy this novel. It is not a light read. It is a heavy, dense read, and often times over pretentious (a whole glimpse into a pseudo play-opera based on Antigone) that brought the whole flow of the book to a grinding halt. Simply because I found myself having to go back and re-read the zealously laden series of complex metaphors, but some readers live for that kind of thing, and if you're one of them, you will love this book. I personally found it a bit much and would have preferred Ms. Groff sacrifice the literature for a better tempo to the story, but that is just my opinion.
Overall, this is where it becomes very difficult to review. I see what this book had to offer. I see the intention and I see the reasons for the delivery. However, when I ask myself the question, "Did reading this book have an effect on me and if so what was it?" To be truthful, I honestly can't answer this question. I don't know that it had any effect on me. I contemplated some things that were factors in the book, but I don't know if that was because of the reading or from knowing that I had a review to write. I also think I would have a difficult time recommending this book to anyone unless I knew exactly what type of reader they were. All these reasons are why I've given the book a neutral rating. This may be the book you are looking for, I may have not connected appropriately with the events, so this may be a book you have to try for yourself.