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Thursday, April 30, 2015

What I’m Reading: Closer

This isn’t the kind of book that I would ordinarily choose; it’s all mushy, and emotional, and romantic and stuff…  It’s a chick-flick, hallmark channel kind of story.  I read it because my friend, Jennie, wrote it, and I enjoyed reading it-even if it is all girly, sentimental gush.

I quoted the last line of the book, “It was the sweetest sip of wine that any of them would ever taste in their lifetime,” to her and she put her head in her hands and muttered, “oh, God…”

I should say that Jennie is somewhat mortified that I bought and read her book.  She wrote it when she was 23, and says that she’s now much more cynical and realistic about life. She also says that it should be a rule that you shouldn’t be allowed to publish a book until you’re forty. 

The cover is terrible - but, she tells me, the first cover was even worse.  Frustrated, she told the publishing company to give it a plain cover with just the title, “and it came out all Adam’s family…”

Closer (is that a noun or an adjective?), her first novel is about love, family, mental illness, and death-ambitious themes for a first novel.  And it is a fine first novel, nothing to be embarrassed about.  If there are weaknesses and shortcomings in the writing, they only serve to show the potential for even greater things in her subsequent work.

One little detail did have me greatly amused, however.  Early in the novel, several of the characters go out for an overnight camping trip.  Jennie wrote that they “staked claim to their own five cubic feet of homestead” to set up their tent.  I laughed imagining them trying to camp in a tent the size of mini-fridge. 

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Jeff Carter's books on Goodreads
Muted Hosannas Muted Hosannas
reviews: 2
ratings: 3 (avg rating 4.33)

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