Wednesday, February 23, 2011


This was a bookclub pick. I cannot say I enjoyed it very much. (Spoiler alert.) The plot hangs on an unlikely device: two girls are switched at the hospital just after birth. And it just so happens that the two girls, who were born on the same day, have a father in common! This man (he cheated on his wife one night in the middle of a storm) says nothing to fix the mistake. In fact, when his wife mentions her concerns, he stonewalls her.
The book is told from the two girls' perspectives, in alternating chapters. (We're seeing a lot of this in novels of the last few years; when done well, as in Little Bee or The Postmistress, it makes for an interesting read.) The problem is that in this book, the girls' voices are virtually indistingishable from each other. However, their appearances are not--so much so that the reader catches on to the fact that the daughters have been switched someplace before the middle of the book. How is it that most of the characters fail to notice that one girl is short and sort of dumpy and dark and likes plants (like all the girls in the farmer's family) and one girl is tall and blonde and beautiful and loves to draw (like the artistic mother in the other family)? The "good daughters" metaphor is forced to work hard ... toward the end, we're told that strawberry plants create daughters who are exact replicas of their parents.
I think this book will appeal to those who like Jodi Picoult's work (especially My Sister's Keeper). But it had too much melodrama for me.

No comments:

Post a Comment