Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The Uses of Enchantment (Heidi Julavits)

I am in love with this book. Admittedly, I'll read anything that takes place in my native New England, particularly if it is WASPY in tone well-written or not. Lucky for me, and any of you who do pick it up, The Uses of Enchantment is marvelously written. This story is partly mystery and partly family drama and entirely engrossing. Somehow it managed to remind me of both The Virgin Suicides and The Hazards of Good Breeding. Either way, it will keep you up late into the night. Julavits insights into the inner workings of the female adolescent alone make it worth the read if you know any teenage girls at all. She will also chillingly remind you of how you thought in your own teenage years. Not how you remember thinking but how you actually did. This book is dense with emotional issues but Julavits has beautiful control of her pose and sense of pace--the novel never feels overwhelming or overwrought. Definitely pick this up for a cold winter night... -Rhiannon

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous12/20/2006

    This book was named by the New York Times a notable book of the year. I enjoyed it until about two thirds of the way through and then became very bored by the "mystery" and by the end of the book truly did not care what any of the outcomes were. The characters were far too self involved to care about. The protagonist, Mary, at age 30 had changed so little from the girl that she was in the flashbacks, it was often difficult for me to keep the timeline straight. The writing is excellent however but to my mind beautifully constructed sentences can't make up for one dimensional characters or a lack of a clear storyline. Had this book ended about 50 pages sooner, I would probably have liked it alot better. As it stands, it reads like listening to an adolescent tell a story about what happened in study hall. How interesting could it be, really? I was definitely disappointed