Monday, October 08, 2007

Weekly Book Watch: The Memory Keeper's Daughter

I'm currently reading The Memory Keeper's Daughter, by Kim Edwards. I'm going through a rash of "current" books, mostly feeling my way around by what sounds interesting or looks slightly out of the ordinary. (Suddenly I see why those one-minute book blurbs we learn how to write are so important.) After having just finished reading Water for Elephants (which I loved) and The Dante Club (which I also loved), this book is so much slower in pace and tone that I'm having trouble adjusting and allowing it to be what it is without comparing it to those other two bestsellers.

It is, though, a book that breaks so many of the current "rules" of writing fiction: There isn't all that much dialogue, and it all seems so very polished and smooth. There is a ton of slow, deliberate description (compared to so many sparsely written novels nowadays). The book starts semi-fast (having read Noah Lukeman's The First Five Pages, I can't say it starts as fast as he recommends, which I feel tries to put everyone in a "thriller" box anyway), but then slows down its pace and seems to stay there.

I'm enjoying where the book seems to be taking the reader, although I find it jolting to find she jumps ahead years at a time from one chapter to another. This makes me constantly reassess where we will end up at the end of her story. And for now, that kind of plot-driven curiosity has been enough to keep me engaged in the story.

Next will probably be Stephenie Meyers's Twilight (first in her triology of YA vampire books—I have the other two waiting in the wings). I have most of Anne Rice's vampire books, and I read Bram Stoker's original decades ago (and reread it in recent years), so I think reading this popular vampire series right around Halloween ought to be fun. My daughter is already finished with the first two books (no small feat considering how fast she read them!), and we're awaiting the Amazon delivery on the third volume tomorrow! (She and I are trying to keep busy with our reading while we both await the publication of Libba Bray's third volume in her own YA trilogy in December.)

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Blogger lynardlynard said...

I have to get my hands on The Dante Club. It sounds promising. I'll wait to see what you conclude about MKD.

Btw, I forgot you were posting here until I stumbled upon your link in my delicious bookmarks. :-)

|||||| lynard

7:40 PM  
Blogger Linda M Au said...

What you would like about the book, which I discovered by accident, is that some of it is set in Pittsburgh -- Regent Square, Squirrel Hill, Oakland. She seems to have the details right, including the 61B PAT bus. :-)

8:04 PM  

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