"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read." Groucho Marx

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Glow by Jessica Maria Tuccelli

Have you ever taken a look at the questions created for book club discussions? Most of the ones I have read are heavy on literary terminology, forcing participants to dig back to painful discussions from freshman lit. Glow was written for those questions. The book club question writer who was assigned this novel must have been ecstatic to be handed this wordy little volume because it is designed with that purpose in mind. No questions weighing in at under a five-sentence paragraph will do because literary terminology will have to be relied upon to create a discussion at all. This book left me glazed over, wondering what happened to the ten hours I spent holding it.

I'm no slouch, mind you. I've done my time in institutions of higher learning. I've discussed rhetoric and appreciated clever metaphors. I even got A's in all my college literature courses. Here's the thing-I read because I like it. I read because I want to be swept away into another place and time, accompanied by characters I've never met but look forward to getting to know. At the end of it, I want to meet with my book club, a group of fun, intelligent, beautiful women, and discuss poignant questions like, did you like it? It should be a short discussion this week. The advanced feedback I'm hearing from the girls matches my own answer to that favorite of all book club questions-no. We most decidedly did not like it. And we won't spend any time waxing philosophical about the author's ability to tell a tale through generations of ultimately related individuals without bothering herself with any tedious elements of plot or climax. She has created the perfect space for those literary minds who fully enjoy mining for the meaning behind the words and creating depth where there actually may be none. I admire the tenacity of those individuals but sadly can't count myself among them. I don't want to have to work that hard to figure out the author's point and because of that particular character trait (flaw?) I will move on from this experience to other authors with other tales to tell without looking back-or looking forward to any more of Tuccelli's work.

You will find an official plot line description at: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15808514-glow.

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