Due to snow and the library being closed Monday, I am bereft of books this week but have a whole bunch waiting for me at the library now. Yay!
The First Bad Man: A Novel
Cheryl is the most unreliable narrator I've ever met. I say this because is she crazy? Is she lying? If she is lying, is she lying to herself or the reader? Trying to determine this made for a fascinating read. Cheryl is a middle aged woman with a permanent lump in her throat that gets worse with stress. She's tried to have surgery for it, but it's psychosomatic, so she seeks out healing therapy instead. Cheryl has many obsessions. A man who she works with, who she thinks she has been in love with through all the ages. A little boy she once babysat, who she believes is reincarnated in babies everywhere, searching to be with her again. Then, her boss's daughter, Clee, moves in with Cheryl. Clee is loud and young and disrespectful but in her living beneath her roof, she forces Cheryl to face some iota of reality.
I will admit that very few, if any, of the characters in this book are likable. It was hard to follow along with Cheryl because you never knew what was true and what wasn't, but I still loved it. Cheryl was a complex, confusing character and this was a unique read.
West of Sunset
I love the Fitzgeralds. Poor crazy Zelda who may or may not have contributed more to The Great Gatsby than we realized. Troubled F. Scott dealing with his mentally ill wife and struggling to find literary success, not knowing his book would transcend him. This historical fiction tells the last few years of F. Scott's life through his perspective. I enjoyed it because I enjoy this history, but in some ways, I felt the characterization was flat. It was still a read that held my interest, but not the best book I've read about either F. Scott or Zelda.
What are you reading?