A perfectly balanced portrait of the human condition, encompassing plenty of anger, cruelty and loss without ever losing sight of the equally powerful presences of tenderness, shared pursuits and lifelong loyalty.
Do you agree?
I waffle. Initially, I didn’t think it was a balanced portrait, but I can probably be persuaded. Certainly, Olive’s personality balances out over time; she becomes more aware, resigned, softened, which balances her harshness. Overall, though, I think maybe the book is weighted on the side of struggle and disappointment.
Or maybe I wear rose-colored glasses. While I know some of the horrors of the human condition, and I am pretty sure this will look like reality to some people, if I were to write about my community and my reality, I don’t think it would look like this book. Would yours?