Thursday, January 14, 2010

Review: In a Perfect World by Laura Kasischke

My rating: 4 stars

My review:

I really enjoyed this book. I didn't really know what to expect when I picked it up. The storyline looked promising but I had not read too much about it. So, it was a nice surprise to find that it was well written, well constructed and an interesting 'end of the world' type novel.

The novel starts out as a fairytale of sorts - woman marries the 'perfect' man and settles down to raise his children. But, the story takes a life of its own and becomes about so much more than just a marriage and a family. (Although the marriage and family stuff is great, too). It becomes a survival story. Exploring how different people react to the world shutting down. I think that Kasischke does a fabulous job of interweaving the interpersonal stuff with the more global stuff - and it was seamless. Just wonderful how she used the two to tell the story and to explore different themes.

It is the transformation of the main character, Jiselle, that I felt really resonated with me. As a stepmother myself, I understood so much of what she was struggling with throughout the book. The loving of someone else's children can be such an adventure and I thought that Kasischke did a great job portraying that adventure realistically and showing the ups and downs of those relationships.

While none of the specifics of the epidemic were discussed in the novel, there was enough information about the changes in the environment and the functioning of the society to keep me focused on the novel and the gravity of their situation. I was glad that the author focused on the personal aspects of how the epidemic affected this family and the changes that it made in their lives. I thought this ability to bring the larger epidemic to a personal level really gave the book that something special.

Overall, I really enjoyed this one and definitely recommend it!

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