Sunday, December 05, 2004

I surprised myself

by enjoying Julia Glass's Three Junes very much indeed. It's a well-written and strangely moving book--it's not at all the kind of book I usually like (let's just say it compares very favorably to Michael Cunningham's The Hours and Karen Joy Fowler's The Jane Austen Book Club, two books that left me completely unmoved--the only thing I liked about the former was the scene of throwing the cake in the trash...). A few passages I especially liked (and where you can see the very fine writing in the service of character development and various themes of the book).

a man's description of fixing a puppy's hernia by hand when he was a boy: "I still recall the sensation of pushing the lump of flesh back through the muscle wall in that taut little belly, using just the tip of my right middle finger. It felt like forcing a marble into an elastic velvet pouch."

a description of a woman (later a professional graphic designer) whose husband stops wanting sex and starts to take his collection of art books to bed with her instead: "A habit born of pride, but it led to her fascination with fonts and layouts and margins. She didn't like looking too long at the art, because art was what she ought to be doing but wasn't. (She would choose, increasingly, books about dead artists so that she did not have to agonize over the possibility that they were, at that very moment, doggedly producing more work.)"

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