The 2011 Pulitzer Prize winner has been at the back of my mind as a novel to investigate, well, since It won the prize I guess, I chose the long dark evenings of February for this pleasure. Far be it from me to criticise such a work, let me give you a brief description and my sentiments.
The book feels to me like a selection of short stories on a theme, awakening and choices in growing up, this in and around the music world. Characters appear in a chapter and then disappear, their relationships with other characters vary with time, the best best way I can think to describe the feeling is like the game of Pick up Sticks, where the sticks represent individual peoples lives and the stories are taken at random in the pile, well the lives intersect differently at different points.
All of the characters are flawed, some learn to live with their flaws but all struggle with them at some moment in time, leading to the choices in growing up.
Not all of the chapters are equal, persist if you come across a less interesting chapter. Most of the loose ends remain loose, this is a good thing!
I had some trouble with the large number of people in the stories and recognising them from previous chapters, having finished the book I think that it is probably best not to try, their relationship from chapter to chapter need only be tenuous.
I am pleased that I read this book