Monday, July 12, 2010

review: sand in my eyes by christine lemmon

Sand in My Eyes left me with varied thoughts primarily because I could not like the main character. I nearly laughed when I read at the end of the book, “…And in the very little selfish time that I had through the years, I wrote,” because Anna struck me as incredibly selfish. As the book begins, a menopausal Anna is traveling to see her former neighbor. Anna isn’t being a good friend; she’s going to get permission from a woman she’s ignored for years regarding the book Anna now wants to publish about her life. As Anna tells her story, I couldn’t garner a shred of sympathy for her as she raged about the difficulties of being a stay at home mom to three young children and the affair her husband once had although I had the impression I was supposed to feel she’d sacrificed a lot to make her children happy.

I enjoyed the concept of Sand in My Eyes, though often felt it would work better as a movie because the act of Anna telling Fedelina her story meant that there was a lot of exactly that--telling rather than showing. I would’ve liked to have more action. Here’s an example of where there could’ve been some descriptive action instead of flat-out telling:
Then one child had to use the bathroom. Another fell down and scraped her knee. And the last, I saw from the corner of my eye, was pocketing large landscape rocks. From the corner of my other eye I saw that the first child had peed in his shorts. My daughter was screaming bloody murder over the sight of her hurt knee. And my remaining son had clenched his fists and was grunting at me in an ill-tempered fit when I told him to empty the rocks out of his pocket. It was all making me think that I had a hundred children, not three!
Just think how much better that scene would’ve been if all that action had been brought to the present!

In the end, what I really enjoyed were the letters Fedelina’s mother, Cora, wrote to daughter, especially the one she wrote when Fedelina was still just a baby. Cora seemed like someone I might actually want to meet.
Review copy provided by the author’s publicist.

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