Here comes very subjective review of a book.
Reading reviews at Goodreads, I realized I’m not the only one having bitter-sweet and love-hate relationship with this book. I’m not a fan of love stories. Because they seem unreal, but I long for having one in my life anyway and I’m almost sure that love like that won’t happen to me since they’re so rare. And world’s gone bad lately.
Anyway, Henry and Clare… I kind of envy Clare for knowing in the early age who will be her husband. I feel that would’ve been solution for my neurosis when it comes to relationships and not knowing what other person thinks, feel or how it’s going to end.
I also envy both of them for having so much sex.
And, I guess that’s all I liked about their love.
Clare was likable at the first part of the book, when she was younger and innocent. After I found out she had slept with her best friend’s boyfriend, I totally lost any of my affection for her. And by the end of the book, when she slept with Gomez again, because it reminded her of Henry (since their love was portrayed as sex sex sex cock cunt sex, no wonder that happened, few I love you’s here and there, sex), I wanted to burn it down. Come on… And plus, Charisse knew about Gomez’s feelings for Clare, and they still have bunch of kids and everything’s fine… This is just one slice of all the character flaws in this book. And I won’t talk anymore about them, because you have all that at Goodreads. I just mentioned this best friend’s betrayal because no one did on GR. And it’s so far away from real life. Well, at least mine. That friend (Clare) would be long ago my ex friend and that boyfriend (Gomez) would never become my husband.
When it comes to writing… Oh man. The unnecessary and uninteresting details about groceries, music, making art… I felt an urge to pass those parts, but that wouldn’t be proper reading of the book, so I contained myself. All that art spilling through pages didn’t make me want to explore it more, as Kundera’s Immortality, for example, did. I only really liked the part when Henry recited Rilke at the birth of Alba.
The voice in Henry’s and Clare’s part is… well, very similar. When I compare it to, for instance, Mothers Are Not Chosen By Election by Miklos Vamos, I see the difference between high quality writing and just writing sentence after sentence without any clever thinking.
All in all, I did enjoy, I did cry, but the book is not that good. I have a thing with long books where I always attach to characters no matter how bad it is or they are (because it takes time to read big books, and time makes me develop stronger feelings), but with this book it just didn’t happen. I hated Clare after sleeping with Gomez. And the ending is so corny. Especially because Henry could visit Alba in the future, but couldn’t see Clare (and there was no decent explanation of this, just Henry’s ”I really don’t know why is that” – ugh), so it all made the ending forced.
I’d recommend this book to my friends just so that we could discuss the bad things. There’s no other reason.
They say the movie is worse… I can’t imagine what trash that is.