by Jerome Charyn
W. W. Norton & Company, 2010
Source: ebookprovided by Tribute Books
When Tribute Booksemailed me and asked if my blog would be a stop on the The Secret Life of Emily Dickinson blog tour, I was ecstatic. Read and blog about my namesake? Sign me up!
Unfortunately myenthusiasm withered when I read the book. I feel awful writing that, but it’s true. It’s not that I disliked the book. It just never captured my interest. The characters felt like pencil sketches tome, never fully fleshed out or developed, and I found myself feelingindifferent to their story. Thosefeelings never really changed as the book wore on no matter how hard I tried.
The undeveloped sidecharacters didn’t bother me as much as the undeveloped character of EmilyDickinson. She was the one I wanted to care about, but I felt disconnectedfrom her the entire time I read. (On theplus side: this book provided a unique experience. I don’t know that I’ve ever felt sodisconnected from a first-person narrator before.) Her voice felt very inauthentic, but not in ahistorically accurate sense. (I have noidea if her manner of speaking is historically accurate; I know nothing abouthow people spoke in the 19th century.) I mean that her voice never felt real; Inever really heard her. She never felt like a real person to me, which is funny since she was.
Fortunately, we arenot all the same, and what bothers one reader may delight another. Be sure to check out the other reviews! A lot of blogs signed up for this blog tour andI’m sure there are as many opinions as there are reviews.
A specialthank you to Tribute Books for including me on this blog tour!