I showed restraint in packing for my quick trip to New Mexico. I took only two small knitting projects (of which I knit not a stitch, wtf?) and one novel. On the flight out I read literary criticism about the Wife of Bath to prepare for my presentation, and on Thursday and Friday, my reading time was dedicated to my dissertation. Finally, Friday night, after the festivities, I was able to hunker into the novel I'd borrowed from the library: The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards. Over breakfast on Saturday, Mona mentioned that she'd read it and couldn't decide how she felt about it, and I see what she means. The writing is solid, certainly. The story has some truly compelling moments, and there is a lot of heartache and joy. I enjoyed Edwards' explorations of the dangers of secrets, and I believed in her characters. Still, though, I came away from reading the book a little less than satisfied. Perhaps it's the ending that seems to veer into bow tying. I simply did not feel the same pull to get to the end that a book like, say, Fire in the Blood engendered in me. Nevertheless, I would recommend the novel. I think it would make a good beach book. Life changing? Not for me. Entertaining and interesting? You bet. By the way, I like some of the interview and FAQ material on Edwards' website. It's worth a look around if your considering reading the novel.
My perennial question: what are you reading that's good? I won't be mired in lit. crit. for much longer!