Saturday, September 30, 2006
Little Earthquakes by Jennifer Weiner
Hey there, I know it's been a while, and I apologize. We've been running a contest so I chose to use that as my excuse not to post a review. Not a very good excuse, I know, but I've been busy! I'll probably be very busy for the next few months because I have taken a job and I work nights. One of the really hard things about this job is that it is for a major (and when I say major, that is an understatement) internet company that supplies just about everything under the sun, including books. The books being everywhere is what makes it really hard for me. I see all those books and just want to sit down in an aisle and read. Not good, I think I would get fired if I ever gave into that temptation. The good thing about this job, is it is only temporary and will help us get through Christmas and still be sane. Also, there is a TON of walking involved with this job and I should be very skinny when it is all over. Yay, for skinny! And now, I'll get on with the review.....
Little Earthquakes by Jennifer Weiner
Let us start with the BCC, shall we? As you know by now, I don't normally read it. I did, however, read it this time, because I (ducking my head because I know I'm not in the majority here) am not a very big fan of Weiner's work and needed to know what the story was about. I had previously read In Her Shoes and was very disappointed in it and had vowed I would not be reading her again. But, when my sister sent me this and told me I HAD to read it, it was so GOOD! I would LOVE it, she promised, so I read the BCC and thought, huh, why not? The BCC to follow is in blue and my comments are the black.
Jennifer Weiner's richest, wittiest, most true-to-life novel yet tells the story of three very different women as they navigate one of life's most wonderful and perilous transitions: the journey of new motherhood. Sounds promising.
Becky is a plump, sexy chef who has a wonderful husband and baby girl, a restaurant that's received citywide acclaim-and the mother-in-law from hell. Kelly is an event planner who's struggling to balance work and motherhood while dealing with an unemployed husband who seems content to channel-surf for eight hours a day. Ayinde's basketball superstar husband breaks her trust at her most vulnerable moment, putting their new family even more in the public eye. Then there's Lia, a Philadelphia native who has left her Hollywood career behind, along with her husband, and a tragic secret to start her life all over again. Wait a minute, didn't the first paragraph say THREE women? Why are there FOUR listed here? Let me just re-check. Yep. THREE women is what it says. Let me just count, 1 - Becky, 2 - Kelly, 3 - Ayinde, and sure enough, there it is, 4 - Lia.
From prenatal yoga to postbirth sex, Little Earthquakes is a frank, funny, fiercely perceptive take on the comedies and tragedies of love and marriage.
The book is separated into months, and those months have a scene from each woman's POV. Lia's POV's are always first person and Becky, Kelly, and Ayinde are all written in 3rd Om. The fact that Lia was written in First and she is the first one we are introduced to, made me think of the book as hers. For some reason, this made it incredibly hard for me to bond with the other women.
I think for me, the main reason I didn't like the book much, was the ending. I never got that feeling of closure that I like with my books. It felt rushed and messy, and while I understand that life itself is fairly rushed and messy, I like my books to have a neat and tidy ending. They don't have to be happy endings (although I do love me a happy ending) but they do need to wrap things up nicely, and I didn't feel that this book did that.
Perhaps another reason for my dislike could be that there was a lot of bitching about how tough being a mother was. It is hard, I'll be the first to admit that. However, it is also wonderful to an extent that cannot be measured. The instances where the mothers felt or saw the joy in having a child were too few and far between. For me, it felt like mostly the babies were excuses for some of the unbelievable behavior of these women.
Also, the way in which the women handled some of the situations that arose in their lives just angered me. I wanted to throw the book across the room more than once because I felt the women had no back-bone, yet I knew that to not be the case, so why would the writer make them so STRONG in some situations, yet so positively WEAK and STUPID in other areas.
I'm not completely disappointed that I read this book. However, I probably won't be giving Weiner another try. She didn't get me with 'Hello', and she completely lost me with the 'How's it going?'