Bel Canto and the Magician's Assistant, both of which we remembered to be more captivating. This book was just "good." Not great, not terrible, perfectly readable--but just good. (Perhaps that's why La Mademoiselle decided to read next month's book instead!) We all agreed that the story was well-written in terms of its prose, but there was too much filler, and somehow the characters were one-dimensional and simply not that interesting. In fact, we didn't even engage in our usual comparison of who loved or hated each character, our chatter about which characters were annoying or endearing. Even Sullivan, the brother who seemed to have the best chance at being multi-dimensional, was summarily revealed in a single page. We just couldn't see the point in the whole thing. The plot wasn't unique enough to make it a plot-driven book, the characters weren't engaging enough to make it a character-driven book, so it languished betwixt and between: definitely not, as the cover bragged, Ann Patchett's best book.
Our July book is The Murderer's Daughters, by Randy Susan Meyers, our August book is Blood Oath, by Christopher Farnsworth, and our September book is Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese. In order, the Highlander, the Doctor, and Ms. K. are hosting. For July, La Mademoiselle is bringing apps, and El Jefe's on desserts. Until next time, read early and often, and happy start of summer!
Massimo Vitali, Rosignano 2004, diptych