Monday, October 18, 2010

Addition: a novel

An obsessive-compulsive woman named Grace has shaped her life to fit her illness. From her need to buy ten of every item at the supermarket to her need to cook exactly the same dinner every night, she has limited her world to accommodate this seemingly necessary minutiae. Of course, when she meets Seamus at the grocery store, he complicates her life in ways that challenge her reasoning.

I thought the subject matter was unique, the dialogue fast-paced and witty, and certain observations of the protagonist were spot-on. I especially liked the little detail that Grace keeps a photo of Nikola Tesla (fellow OCD sufferer) in her bedroom, beloved because he was able to balance his obsessions with his career as a brilliant inventor. Yet I still had trouble empathizing with the protagonist, and even more trouble believing that her romance bore some semblance with reality.

p. 22: "I used to be good at flirting. A lot of people think that flirting's about sex. Well, flirting's about surprise, and surprise is about sex. If someone can be unexpected using words, imagine how thrilling they could be using their mouth."

p. 196: "That tenderness that boys are made of before school and hormones frustrate and sharpen them." What a beautiful sentence!

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