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kfan

the terror of whatever

My life in Goodreads exile

Currently reading

Ex Machina, Vol. 1: The First Hundred Days
Brian K. Vaughan, Tony Harris
The World Without Us
Alan Weisman
Echolocation: a novel - Myfanwy Collins So, OK. This was not at all the book I was expecting it to be. And I love to be surprised, so I mean that as the highest complement.

What you gather from the back cover and the first couple of chapters is that this is a book about a complicated family dynamic. Two sort-of sisters with a lot of distance between them (Cheri & Geneva) come back together when Aunt Marie, the woman who raised them, dies. And as if they didn't have enough problems of their own, Cheri's absentee mother Renee then comes flying back towards them with secrets and problems of her own.

Given all that I was expecting a novel about these three women struggling and learning to love and forgive and accept each other after a lot of hurt and a lot of distance. Which, I mean, sounds like a good book! Kind of Oprah-ish, but good.

But this is soooo not an Oprah book. Myf's prose is really quiet and lovely and full of these small beautiful moments. But the story is not quiet and lovely. It is dark and violent and scary. THINGS HAPPEN and keep happening and it all unfolds shockingly quick, like an arm being torn off by a chainsaw.

Like the title suggests, it is about people trying to find their way in the darkness. Hurtling towards walls that they might not see in time to steer clear of, but not letting that knowledge slow them down.

Saying much more would give too much away, but it's not a book that hands things over tidily. It is true to life and true to its characters. Families can be messy and complicated because lives are messy and complicated, and this book doesn't sugercoat it or pat it down. It really stuck with me, I was chewing over the ending for the rest of the day, so "haunting" seems like the right word for it. Loved it.