October 15, 2008 at 5:15 pm | Posted in Fiction | Leave a comment

I have read few books as beautiful and sad as Goldengrove, by Francine Prose.  I didn’t expect to get so sucked in to a story that sounded so depressing, but I think I actually read it in one sitting.  (Rocket Scientist was reading The Thin Red Line, so he wasn’t going anywhere either).  Goldengrove is captivating.  It reminded me a little of the movie Moonlight Mile, the way it’s sad but also engaging and uplifting and honest.

Grief is weird, there’s no question about that.  Prose captures the way different people respond to personal loss, including our inability to reach out to the other mourners, our skewed decisions, and our irritation with outsiders who don’t know what to say.  The book is so real in that way, the characters so believable, that the writing seems completely effortless.  I’m not sure I’d read it in the weeks following the death of a loved one, but maybe I would.  It does seem more real than the real world can at such times.

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