I don't know why but I just can't get this book finished. I've tried several times, and even buckled down and tried the audiobook (which went better), but I get 20-25% of the way through and just lose interest in the characters. The MC/Narrator in particular is just so ridiculously smug about everything.
I think I'll try again, but I need to give it a break. Perhaps a winter book, not a spring/summer one. So consider this non-review a reminder to myself why I actually want to retry this one.
Some of the writing though, is just terrific and I can see why this is well liked. A little hard to grab quotes out of an audiobook but this one grabbed me enough to relisten and write it down, a perfect description of a dog day afternoon near the end of summer:
"The air was a reverie of wistful summer things, the last languorous day, a chance to go bare-limbed once more, smell the mown clover"
While the younger kids come off a little too "Dawson's Creek dialogue", the older teenage son reminds me strongly of trying to have an argument with my own teenagers with their inexorable ability to twist logic (and reality) to their own whims. Unfortunately, he's fairly rarely seen or heard from, certainly not enough to keep me reading, and he's still a couple of years too young at 14 to really be having most of these conversations.
Even so, as a parent, finding yourself asking increasingly precise questions trying to get a straight answer out of an obstreperous teenager while they proceed to bend semantics in order to avoid giving one is all too familiar.
“Rain is a noun. Is there rain here, in this precise locality, at whatever time within the next two minutes that you choose to respond to the question?”
“If you want to talk about this precise locality while you’re in a vehicle that’s obviously moving, then I think that’s the trouble with this discussion.”