Thursday, June 26, 2008

A book about an empty hole

I just finished reading Joyce Carol Oates' Missing Mom, and I really enjoyed it. The novel is about the impact that a mother's death has on her two daughters.

Brash, sarcastic, Nikki (at 31, the younger of the two sisters) was used to being the black sheep of the family. With her tight-fitting clothes, punky hair, and wild love life, she routinely thumbed her nose at her mother's value system. Pert, bossy Clare, married and with two children of her own, felt as though she'd lived up to her mother's expectations of her life. But after Gwen Eaton's violent death, both women find themselves adrift, unable at first to accept and cope with the absence of their mother. Alternately clinging to one another and avoiding one another, the two women slowly come to grips with who their mother was and what her passing means for their own lives and the life of their family.

I like this woman's writing. And since she's been very prolific, I'll have something to read for a while. She's cerebral without being obtuse. She's original without being unrealistic. And most of all, her characters think the things that we've all thought. These are very relatable people.

I highly recommend this book.

1 comment:

Jenny Redmann said...

Hey Nicole (again),

I know this is totally off-topic to this post, but (I'm sure you understand) I'm kind of busy, so I have to get to these things when I can!

Another book/author recommendation: Wilkie Collins. He's an old (Victorian) writer. I like "The Moonstone" the best, though his "The Woman in White" is also very good.

To be more on-topic: I actually tried to find some Joyce Carol Oates at a local bookstore (some kind soul had given me a gift certificate there for my birthday) but they had none... at least, none that I saw. So I picked up some classics (Wuthering Heights, Sense & Sensibility, Silas Marner) instead. I can't wait to get started (I'm in the middle of the autibiography of St. Therese of Lisieux).

Happy Reading!