Friday, April 9, 2010

review: this one is mine by maria semple

Is is possible to hate every character in a book, but still enjoy the book? This One Is Mine proves that it is. Everyone is wretchedly selfish. I had hope for David after the yoga retreat, but then he got smacked in the face by Violet's infidelity again. Violet's attraction to Teddy was almost incomprehensible, but I guess it was good sex. Sally's reckless actions and pursuit of Jeremy were almost understandable given what she faced as a child, but I still couldn't garner sympathy for her since she never learned from her mistakes. Although she never learned, Sally did at least have moments where she seemed to genuinely care such as when she protected Jeremy after an embarrassment.

So how could I possibly enjoy the novel? I suppose that speaks to Semple's excellent writing and character development. Even though I hated the characters, particularly the three main ones, I wanted to find out what they would do next and what the consequences might be. I also appreciated Semple's use of music/song lyrics throughout the book.
Review copy provided by the publisher, Back Bay Books.

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