This is one of those posts that just won’t write itself. I keep getting bogged down in the plot summary, when really all I want to do is post my favorite quotes from this novel and let you decide. It’s pretty, and I truly enjoyed reading about the characters, but it is flawed.
It is a novel about global warming and it is not subtle about it. Sometimes the story is sacrificed to get that message across. Lengthy discussions of global warming and what it means and how hopeless it is. Things that aren’t untrue, but perhaps could have been more artistically woven into the story.
But it’s also a novel about a marriage and a mother and a friendship and a mother-in-law. And in those moments, it’s lovely. Now, for the quotes:
They faced each other, a towering, morose man and his small, miserable wife, both near tears. How could two people both lose an argument? (174)
My favorite quotes are ones that express something you’ve seen but never known how to describe.
She could see that his old generosity was still there, but was sometimes being held captive by despair, like a living thing held underwater. (239)
It was hard to feel the remotest sympathy for any of the fools she had been. As opposed to the fool she was probably being now. 394
In one transcendent moment buoyed by two ounces of Riesling she saw the pointlessness of clinging to that life raft, that hooray-we-are-saved conviction of having already come through the stupid parts, to arrive at the current enlightenment. The hard part is letting go, she could see that. There is no life raft; you’re just freaking swimming all the time. (394)
I feel like the quotes I picked aren’t even particularly beautiful. They are just ones that I liked. If blog posts are supposed to recommend a book or not, I’m not sure I could tell you one way or the other. You might be put off by the constant reminder that this is a novel with an issue at its heart instead of a plot. Or maybe you’ll get something out of this book, like I did, even if it’s only a few quotes and a pleasant reading experience.