To join this meme hosted by MizB, simply answer the following three questions:
WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?
I really don’t know why I’m not hearing more buzz about Florence Gordon by Brian Morton—it’s a new novel that seems to have slipped under the radar. It’s about 75-year-old Florence Gordon who lives in present-day NYC. She’s an author and a feminist icon, she’s brutally blunt with family, friends, and strangers alike, and she’s contemplating writing her memoirs. The book begins when her adult son, his wife, and his college-age daughter return to New York after several years away—and Florence finds that as much as she wants to remain in solitude with her work, she becomes involved in the activities and issues that are surrounding her son and his family.
Florence was such a fascinating character to me! During the first ten pages of the book she abruptly walks out of a surprise party thrown in her honor, informing her friends and family that she’d much rather be home working at her desk. How can you not want to know more about the kind of person who can pull that off? And what a talented author Brian Morton is to be able to completely capture the personality of his main character is such a few pages!
There are over 100 chapters in this book, and they range from less than one page to a dozen pages or more. At first I thought that this would be distracting and that the technique would interrupt the narrative, but I very quickly got into the rhythm of Morton’s writing. I was thoroughly invested in each of the main characters and in the day-to-day flow of their lives—and the way that Morton chose to end the book was not at all what I was expecting.
This isn’t a novel that resolves everything and answers all questions by the end—instead, I was left wondering what was going to happen next, and I still find myself thinking about the characters—I’m especially wondering what will happen to Florence’s grand-daughter and how her life may change . Perhaps there’s another novel there. . .
This was a great read for me and I’ll definitely be investigating Brian Morton’s backlisted titles!
WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?
I received an ARC of Us by David Nicholls which is due to be published on October 28. I enjoyed Nicholls’ previous novel, One Day, and was excited to begin this new book about Douglas, his wife, and their teen-aged son who go on a European vacation shortly after Douglas’ wife informs him that she no longer loves him. Douglas views this vacation as a final chance to convince his wife to stay in the marriage, as well as a chance to connect with his son before he leaves home for college. The book alternates between the present trip and the events that took place when Douglas first met his wife, as well as the early years of their marriage.
So far this novel is reminding me a bit of Emma Straub’s The Vacationers (which I loved)—a family in crisis who leave their home for a holiday to try to escape their troubles and repair their relationships. The main character of Douglas is also reminding me of a milder version of Don from The Rosie Project. I’m about 1/3 of the way through this novel and am looking forward to finding out what happens next!
WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?
As usual, I have absolutely no idea—but I know I’ll find something!
How about you? Have you read either of these? What are you reading this week? Please share!