I’m in this weird place right now where I don’t want to read any of the books I have checked out from the library. The result is a lot of starting a book, setting it down, and picking something else up. But here’s what I got through this week:
The Party by Robyn Harding: Jeff and Kim Sanders’ daughter Hannah is turning sixteen, and they allow her to have a sleepover party with four of her friends. But things go horribly awry, and the aftermath of the accident will have lasting consequences for all of those involved.
The book’s blurb compared this to Herman Koch’s The Dinner, which is kind of hilarious, because this isn’t anything like this. It’s also not particularly interesting, and though Harding does her best to ramp up the tension by skipping around in time, there just isn’t that much tension built into the story to merit it. The result is kind of a snoozefest, with characters who don’t feel realistic and a plot that feels like a retread of so many other family dramas. Snooze.
The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger: When Clare meets Henry for the first time, she is six and he is in his thirties. When Henry meets Clare for the first time, he is 28 and she is 20. Thus begins their love story, spanning years. Henry travels through time against his will, making for a challenging partner.
This was a reread for me. I read this about 12 years ago and LOVED it, and I wanted to revisit it to see how my relationship to it changed. It, uh, changed a lot, because this time it left me pretty cold. I found the characters grating, the story largely unmoving, and was deeply unsettled by the almost pedophilic reverence Henry has for young Clare. Yuck.