plainsongSome times you just fine yourself reading the wrong book at the wrong time.  A funny book in the quiet car on the train.  A heavy dramatic book on the beach.  And there are some times when you’re into a book and then things happen that make it a bad fit.

Last Sunday I picked up Plainsong to read.  It seemed to have a lot of potential – awards and a recommendation from someone who had read it with her book group.  I took it with me last Monday on my mini road trip and read it at lunch.  I was about 40 pages in – it hadn’t caught my imagination yet, but it was quite good.

Then the events of Boston last week started to unfold and I started to unravel.  I should have put down the book and found something light or non-fiction to read for the week.  Instead, I kept ploughing ahead with an emotional novel.  As a result I never really felt like I connected with the novel.  I just couldn’t afford to get wrapped up with the drama in the characters’ lives.  Didn’t they know there was enough drama in the real world?

This book reads almost like a series of entwined short stories.  None of them really stand on their own as a great work.  Together they felt like the author was trying for a Gilead-type vibe.  I didn’t feel it quite got there, but it was a gentle novel.

I’m not sure I would highly recommend this book.  I don’t think my experience of reading it gave it a fair shot.  Has anyone else read it and had a better experience?

Next book?  Bossypants.  What I probably should have read last week!


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