cathepsut: (book hand)
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The Summer Without MenThe Summer Without Men by Siri Hustvedt

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

"Out of the blue, your husband of thirty years asks you for a pause in your marriage to indulge his infatuation with a young Frenchwoman.
Do you:
a) assume it's a passing affair and play along
b) angrily declare the marriage over
c) crack up
d) retreat to a safe haven and regroup?

Mia Fredricksen cracks up first, then decamps for the summer to the prairie town of her childhood, where she rages, fumes, and bemoans her sorry fate as abandoned spouse. But little by little, she is drawn into the lives of those around her; her mother and her circle of feisty widows, her young neighbour, with two small children and a loud, angry husband; and the diabolical pubescent girls in her poetry class. By the end of the summer without men, wiser though definitely not sadder, Mia knows what she wants to fight for and on whose terms."

Mia's interactions with her neighbour, her mother and her group of octogenarians and with the teenage girls in her poetry class drew me in right from the start, but halfway through the book everybody just seem to be ambling around the pages without any purpose or direction.

Thrown into that mix are Mia's inner monologues and diary entries of her earlier life before and with her husband Boris and the odd discourse on philosophy and poetry. It makes for a very disjointed book and I never managed to get into a nice reading flow.

Halfway through the book I am still struggling to tell the various characters apart, because I do not feel any connection with them. I caught myself skimming paragraphs in search of a plot and so, halfway through the book, decided to give up and move on to something else.

Reading next:
Stray (Shifters, #1)Stray by Rachel Vincent
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January 2017


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