Okay, I haven’t reviewed any books or authors in a while, but I also haven’t read much recently. However, I HAVE decided to go to a conference this summer, for authors, but I don’t know which one to attend. I’ve looked into lots of ’em and found two in Northern Michigan! There were a couple of sessions noted for fiction writers, hosted by fiction authors. I scribbled down some names and titles and went to the library.
The first book I pulled was Be Mine, by Laura Kasischke. I have mixed emotions.
Let me start by saying I really enjoyed her characters. The relationship and emotion between Sherry and Jon pulled me in. I liked the characters. That’s about it.
The plot was a little twisted: Sherry receives notes from a secret admirer. She tells her husband. Jon finds it attractive. They talk a lot about it. In fact, he tells her to find out who it is and sleep with him. Sherry does (she is a professor in a neighboring town and has a cheap apartment there for weeknights). She comes home and tells Jon about it. He tells her what to do with her lover. She does. He tells her to bring him home and sleep in their bed. She does. He audio-records it…then freaks out because he thinks she was making the whole thing up and she thought he was really encouraging it. Of course…its weird. The lover is possessive, the college age son thinks his mom is sleeping with his classmate, Jon confesses to his own affair. Weird. (And I didn’t even tell you know wrote the notes!)
But that wasn’t the hardest part…flashbacks. Okay, I’m in favor of a quick look to the past, but this was just over the top. You’d be reading a paragraph, and it would remind Sherry of when her son was four. “Mommy, I cut my knee!” I was hurt for him. I remember the blood. He was so little.
Seriously…that’s what it’s like reading this book. At times I was authentically confused. Then, I was annoyed. Does Sherry have problems living in the present, because it seems as if EVERYTHING she encounters reminds her of something and she slips back into remembrance. Sherry, honey…it’s time for an Alzheimer’s screening. Overall, I finished the book feeling like the rope in tug-o-war: past, present, past, present. Back and forth until, finally, the present won…and the book ended.
I’m torn as to how to recommend this book, or not recommend it. I personally can’t think of anyone, well one person, to whom I would recommend it. I appreciate her ability to make you feel for the characters…but I can’t relate to a woman who is married to a man who encourages her to have an affair…and then she has it. I respect the interesting plot. A new twist on the infidelity market. I gag to think about another flashback. And the ending…I shouldn’t comment. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a fairy-tale girl. This does not have a fairy-tale ending…but, I also like the twist of it (I know…I’m high maintenance…give me a happy ending, but not TOO happy).
So in summary, eh. If you’re looking for a slightly disturbing, lustful view of life, give it a whirl (especially if you have a hard time adjusting to your life…you can just slip back to when you were ten).