Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Cannonball Read - Book 67

Here's the book-jacket synopsis for A Ship Made of Paper by Scott Spencer:

"Daniel Emerson lives with Kate Ellis and is like a father to her daughter, Ruby. But he cannot control his desire for Iris Davenport, the African-American woman whose son is Ruby's best friend. During a freak October blizzard, Daniel is stranded at Iris' house and they begin a sexual liaison that eventually imperils all their relationships, Daniel's profession, their children's well-being, their own race-blindness, and their view of themselves as essentially good people. A Ship Made of Paper captures all the drama, nuance, and helpless intensity of sexual and romantic yearning, and it bears witness to the age-old conflict between the order of the human community and the disorder of desire."

Here's my synopsis: yearning, yearning, yearning. Consummation! Angst, angst, angst. Yawn. But then, an event so shocking that I gasped aloud while I was reading. Which doesn't happen that often. Followed by a "come on, that's the best you could do?" And then yawns until the end.

This was one of those books where I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop - and when it did, it dropped hard. Gruesome (without being graphic) and terrible. But then I just went back to waiting - is Daniel going to choose Kate or Iris? Which one? WHICH ONE!? But instead of being left with a sense of anxiety about it, I just wanted him to hurry up and make up his mind already. And as I mentioned above, there's one more big deal moment near the end, but it's so over the top that it completely removed me from my reading experience. I may have even snorted in derision.

A Ship Made of Paper - B (would have been a B- but I'm telling you, the shocking moment is really shocking)

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