Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Embers, by Hyatt Bass

I won't even try to give "The Embers" a just review. My brain is so sluggish from an over-generous Rosh Hashana lunch that I can barely eke out a coherent sentence. Still, I have had something to say about this book for awhile now. I've been "sitting" on this review for over a week now. I've been stalling, not sure about how I want to say how I feel about this book.

I try to find something admirable in every person I meet, and I try to find something compelling in every book I read. I was intrigued by Bass's plot: an exploration of a family as the daughter plans her wedding on the spot her brother's ashes are buried. As is my custom, I borrowed the audiobook from the library, and forced myself to listen to the first 3 CDs before I cracked and gave up. Not only was I not getting into this book, I simply wasn't getting it. Is there an actual plot to this novel, I wondered, or am I too obtuse to catch the subtlety? So I tried again, but to no avail. I am not a reader that needs to be hit over the head with gunfights, car chases and sex scenes, but I do need some sense, amidst the everyday chatter that fills in between more dramatic scenes, that there is something happening in a book that moves the plot along, and I could not find that in "The Embers." But just as people are different, so are books. "The Embers" didn't light a fire under me (who says I didn't inherit my Dad's pun gene!) doesn't mean that it won't do it for you.

Meanwhile, Shana Tova!

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