I loved this book. The kind of love where I would do anything to distract myself for a few minutes in order to just not finish reading it. Make a cup of tea. Straighten up the coffee table. Move my shoes from the living room to their appropriate place by the front door…. All just to avoid coming to the final page.
It has been a long time since I read a book for pure enjoyment, and that the book itself actually lived up to this purpose. And, this book did not disappoint.
The story shifted seamlessly between chronological times and geographical distances. Although chapter after chapter moved from one place to another, one time frame to another, one group of characters to another… these moves felt like a watercolor painting, blended so that the changes were not abrupt, but smooth and interesting– kind of how red can merge to green without a graphic divider, but rather a calm transition that you barely notice…
I will not get into the details of the story, and how much I loved the characters, because I am afraid I will give away too much. And the gentle twists and turns are fun to experience as a reader with little preliminary information.
Once I finished the book itself, I read the after-pages, an interview with the author, Jess Walter. He mentioned that the book took him 15 years to write (he published approx 5 other books, and multiple stories and essays in between) -and something that I found interesting is that he would have started the book prior to the burst of technology in the form of smartphones and social media…. So, I did get the sense that the book had a foundation in a less harried pace than some of the writing that comes out currently. I love the movement and progress of life, but I also feel that some beauty and attention to form and detail has been lost since so many of us became so distracted. In any case, this book supplies beauty, attention and a sense of drifting and floating through genres, time and space- that includes but is not dominated by our current culture. It was a wonderful adventure!