I’ve been on jury duty all week, so I’ve had some mental gymnastics going on, not to mention an interrupted schedule (not complaining – I’m a good citizen and all that), and a weekly word count that is in the red (figger that one out!) And because this whole sauntering thing is a peeve that is my pet, I’m keeping it for when I have a brain that hasn’t turned to oatmeal. Hopefully, Monday.
In the meantime, I offer a few comments about a book I just finished, The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs. I gotta say, this one won’t make my top ten this year. It’s okay. But just. I don’t like saying that about anyone’s book, because I know what it’s like to hear that said of something you wrote.
But I think I know why this one didn’t impress me. I think it’s the same reason it didn’t grab some and totally grabbed others. Just look at the reviews on Amazon and you’ll see there’s plenty of reviews on both ends of the 1 to 5 scale. I think it’s because the book is written in omniscient narrator POV. Meaning the point of view is the narrator. We are looking down on these characters from the lofty mindspace of Almighty Know-it-All. It’s a point-of-view that I have never taken with any of my books nor can I imagine ever doing so in the future. When you opt for omnscience, you lose character intimacy. That’s what I missed with this one. I never developed reader empathy with this cast of characters. I didn’t cry at the Big Sad Thing that happened at the end. That kind of bummed me out. I felt nothing. I am sure for the 5-star crowd, this just wasn’t a problem. But it was a problem for me.
I doubt I will pick up another omnicient narrator POV book for awhile. It was exhausting trying to stay connected to these people. I wanted to care for them. I did. But there was nothing to pin my cares onto. This made it especially hard when the characters made really dumb choices. I just wanted slap their one-dimensional faces. Hey, I know we need characters with flaws, but only people I care about can exercise their faults and keep me cheering for them anyway.
So then. ‘Nuff about that. Enjoy your weekend, saunter all you like. Monday is coming. You have been warned.