February 11, 2013

Book #5 of 2013: Everybody Has Everything by Katrina Onstad


I used to read Katrina Onstad's column in the Globe and Mail every Saturday.
Sometimes. Not always.

Sometimes whatever she was writing about just didn't catch my fancy
and I couldn't be bothered.

When I saw her novel on offer at the library
I signed up for the download.

This is another book I read while I was away.
I needed a break from Kate White mysteries
and had it with this.

It's the story of Ana and James.
They are a successful couple who live in a fancy house in downtown Toronto
and they have been names guardians for the son of a couple who they only marginally knew who were in a horrible accident.

James is on board with being a daddy
but Ana is on the fence.

The story explores the transition they go through as a couple and also at the stage of life they are in.
I don't want to tell you too much.

I liked the story.
I liked the characters 
(although James is a bit of a poncey ass - but I think that was kind of the point)
Even the boy - his personality is developed and explored and he's only two!.

Here was my only complaint
(and I read a review of this book on Goodreads and the reviewer said the very same thing)

I sometimes felt like I had missed part of the story.
I actually flipped back a bunch of pages
(which is a total pain on an e-reader. Point to printed books on that one.)
and re-read sections and even once an entire chapter
because I thought - wait, what?
What happened?
It was weird.

It made me think of the Game of Thrones books 
and how well George RR Martin can carry a very complicated story 
across a multitude of characters over an extensive period of time.

It's a talent
and I think that Onstad kind of blew it there.
Maybe she thought that the reader would internalize the book more 
but like so many others I've read, 
it's a quick, fairly easy read
so you're not likely to brood over hidden meanings and subtext.

So I'm not sure what she was going for 
but it wasn't entirely successful
and left me feeling a little...behind.

In all - great story.
I felt like I knew the characters
(even if I didn't like them very much)
And I would read another book by the author.
I just hope she holds the line a bit better next time round.



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