Synopsis: This book is a family drama about a husband named Ivan and his wife Prue. The husband and wife are both professors. The wife is a speaker at a conference where she makes an announcement about the discoveries her research has indicated. Those discoveries are not well received by the college putting both personal and professional life in jeopardy.
I found Ivan and Prue’s relationship relatable. Particularly the fact that even though Prue and Ivan are both academic they don’t tend to discuss their areas of academia with one another. This is one reason that Prue’s revelations are so upsetting to Ivan. She had shared her research with her father but never made Ivan aware.
Prue’s father, who plays a large role in the story, is struggling with mental health issues. I thought the representation was well done and fairly accurate. I have a family member with mental health issues similar to his and have seen antics as portrayed in the book. The book perhaps could have been more sensitive to those issues but the way they were played out felt realistic.
This book had beautiful prose though at times I found it hard to read. There are lines I loved that were both quotable and relatable however the tone of the book is very literary which I don’t care for and can bog down the book in places. The book is told in first person from Ivan’s perspective. I feel like, with him being an academic, the tone is authentic to character. I just sometimes struggled as I was reading it and felt like he was pretentious. I felt like the style of writing made this book less accessible to a non-literary audience.
Along with the literary prose I felt as though the pace through parts of this book was slow making it feel like a longer read than it was.
I could relate to both Ivan and Prue as far as the struggles in their relationship however I didn’t like Ivan as a character and was often frustrated with him.
My final issue with this book was the ending. I felt let down by the way the story ended. I didn’t necessarily want more but the ending left me wondering “what was the point of this?”
If you are into literary books you might enjoy this. If your not, I’d advise skipping.
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