Among the Ten Thousand Things by Julia Pierpont
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I feel a bit of trepidation about writing this review. My experience of the novel was good but not great. Julia Pierpont is a really good writer and the story itself was good and explored really interesting themes. She plays a lot with structure which is one of the things that I didn't happen to love about it. I understand why she probably made that decision but I didn't really like that aspect of the novel. Maybe I'm too traditionally minded to truly appreciate the out of the box structure she used to tell this story.
I really loved the first part of the novel - I found it engaging and fresh in a really good way. But, something shifted for me as we move into later parts of the novel ... the narrative slowed down in some way and it didn't feel quite right to me as I read it. I found myself eager to see what happens but wishing it would just move forward more quickly. Perhaps that is a result of the structure of the novel - given that the reader learns an outcome before the story that led to that outcome is told.
Overall, I do think the exploration of family, marriage and infidelity was interesting and it was done in a refreshing way. Watching the story play out from the perspective of the children in the novel was also quite interesting and compelling. That might have been some of my favorite bits.
Despite my reservations about the novel's structure, I did think it was a good read. I recommend it especially to those who are open to bold story structure and who enjoy non-traditional prose.
FYI - I struggled with my rating - it's probably closer to a 3.5 but I don't think it's quite a 4.
NOTE: The publisher provided me with a galley of this novel for my honest review.