Monday, May 10, 2010

POC Challenge Book #2.5: All Aunt Hagar's Children by Edward P. Jones

I realize that I haven't posted any book reviews in over a month, and definitely not a POC book. I really have been reading, but I gave up on the POC book I was currently working on (and it sure felt like work!). Still, I wanted to post what I thought of it so far. For the next POC book, I'm going to read one of the children's/YA books on my list (Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson), which should get me over my current reading hump.

All Aunt Hagar's Children: Stories All Aunt Hagar's Children: Stories by Edward P. Jones

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I want to go ahead and review this so I can post it, even though I'm not done--and won't be for awhile.

I just don't like this collection of stories very much. I feel bad about this, because it has gotten rave reviews and won awards, but it just doesn't appeal to me.

I got through 5 and 1/2 of the 14 stories, and of those, the one I've only read half of is the one I liked the best (it was just so depressing that I didn't finish it). ALL of the stories have been depressing, and in most of them, I didn't like the characters very much. Finally, there is much more emphasis on characterization and description than on plot, and I still really like plot. I like characterization, but I have to like the characters to appreciate good characterization (what can I say, I have low brow tastes). Sigh.

I don't intend to give up on this book. It's still on my nightstand. However, I have found that pregnancy makes me even less tolerant of depressing books than I normally am, so I think I need to wait until the new baby arrives to try to finish.

Finally, one note about my use of the word "depressing." I don't necessarily mean books where bad things happen or that don't end happily (although I will admit to being partial to happy endings). I know that in real life, bad things happen and endings are not always happy, and it makes sense that literature often reflects this. However, that doesn't mean that people/characters can't and don't rise above the awful-ness that life often throws at them, and I just didn't feel like any of these characters did.

I'll revisit my opinion when I revisit the book.

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