It’s been a foggy, mild Christmas Day, but I still enjoyed a cup of tea and a long walk earlier. Now it’s evening and I’m hoping to spend a few more hours reading before watching a bit of TV and calling it a day.
Unlike last week, when I had two books to tell you about, this week I tried reading two different books and didn’t finish either one. I started to read Celeste Ng’s latest book, Our Missing Hearts, and spent most of the week reading it until I gave up. This not-quite-dystopian novel, set in what might be the not-too-distant future (or it could be set in the present?) explores what could happen when an oppressive government uses a financial crisis (“the Crisis”), supposedly fueled by China’s market manipulation, to enforce something called PACT, or “Preserving American Culture and Traditions”, as a method of stopping people from protesting or otherwise standing up to authority figures such as police by threatening to re-house their children with “more suitable” families. One boy, twelve-year-old Bird, feels called to go out and find his mother, a political protester and poet who left one morning three years earlier and never came back. This novel was initially very gripping for me, but at about halfway through, I found it to be quite repetitive, and much less compelling or insightful. I worried that it was just my response, that it might turn out to be a really great book, but the reviews were just so-so, so I gave up on it. Then I tried the latest book by Heidi Perks, For the Last Time, but I got even less far into it, giving up after only a chapter or two. Then I pulled a book off my shelf that I recently found in a Little Free Library, The Interestings, by Meg Wolitzer, and at nearly halfway through this big 500+ page trade paperback, I can’t put it down!
I’ll tell you all about it when I finish, but for now, I’ll bid you good night and Happy Holidays! Bye for now... Julie