My rating: 2 out of 5
Set in a University town in the US, this novel is in the form of a memoir by Susan, who tells her story in a compelling, chatty manner. Her tale includes heart stopping times together with moments of humour – including her fantasies about what to do with her daughter’s nightmare boyfriend. She writes in the hope of being remembered after she has died.
Others also help with the story telling. Among these are a variety of original characters such as Judy who is applying for the, long time vacant, job of University President; her job application methods and practices on how to get by with minimal money are innovative and out of the ordinary. Then there is Guy, a radio presenter who has issues of his own, plus various other characters all with interesting parts to play as the story unfolds.
As this is a story about life many themes are included; these include university politics and student safety, faith and poetry, a public radio station and policing. As with life, the story jumps around a bit, and wanders off in different directions before returning to Susan.
I found the first person narrative confusing at times. Chapters were fairly long, so sometimes I forgot who the “I” narrator was when picking up the book mid-chapter. Though well written with constant progression through the story, I’m afraid I lost interest in the characters; there wasn’t enough personal depth to them for me. It may well be that as I don’t live in the US the University issues did not resound with me in quite the same way as they would be to a US resident.
So a well written, quirky, at times humorous book, but not for me.
(Contains sex and bad language. )