This book, so movingly written, challenges our notion of what it means to be human. Karen Joy Fowler is a keen observer of the nuances and details of human behaviour that brings characters to life, that makes this book very difficult to put down. And once it’s over, it feels like a wrench to have to let it go. And if a book can do that, then that is a remarkable achievement. Her research, particularly on the sociology of the family is meticulous, but her touch is so light that you hardly notice that it’s there.
A lesser writer might have been tempted to go overboard with the weighty subject matter, but Karen Joy Fowler is at times achingly witty, which adds the much-needed contrast to the tone. Here she is, describing the grandparents:
‘Grandma Donna was a great reader of historical biographies and had a particular soft spot for the Tudors, where marital discord was an extreme sport.’
I can’t wait to read another book by this author.