3/03/2011

Book Review: Outside Wonderland

For my birthday, my sister gave me two books that she was going to review as part of the Amazon Vine program. (I'm not a member of the Vine program, she is - but she's been entirely too busy of late to get to these, plus she needed to get me a birthday present and hey, my blogging could use a little kick in the pants of late, so win-win-win. Except possibly for y'all cause I imagine there are two or three of you - and let's be honest, that's a significant portion of my readership - asking yourselves if I ever do anything other than read. The short answer to that, by the way, is "Not if I can help it.")

Outside Wonderland is the second of these books (the first was The Corruptible). And here's where I let my sister down...I don't really have any clue how to review this. Did I love it? Gosh no. Did I hate it? Not really. Will I remember anything about it by the time I'm half way through whatever the next book I pick up is? Not likely.

The story revolves around the lives of three children who lost their mother when the youngest was just 18 months old (I think the oldest was 8?) and then lost their father when the youngest was around 8 - so at very young ages. They were raised by the grandmother - though honestly that has little to do with it. We see only snippets of their lives as their parents get glimpses and sit enraptured as they watch from heaven - desperate to see, but unable to interfere and offer advise as every parent would want to. You would especially want to if you had kids as messed up as these kids, well, they're adults for the bulk of the book. At least in age.

I didn't find anything endearing or redemptive in the story. It's just a snapshot here and a snapshot there of selfish, self-destructive people who are that way because, it would seem, they never really recovered from losing their parents. At the end of the book none of the characters have really matured in any significant way, though I guess there were teeny steps of growth that, if one is an optimistic reader, leave you with hope that maybe now they can get it together, now the book is over. But it's certainly not the feel good story of the year - unless you really like schadenfreude.

1 comment:

Lynellen said...

TY for the review.