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In Focus

Another book has come and gone in our book club. In my opinion, this was by far the worst one yet. And I think most in our club would agree.

Of our small group, only a few actually finished the book, The Long-Shining Waters. I did not finish it. It was a difficult book to get into. I would read about 20 pages and pass out. I guess it was great for putting me to sleep.

We had high hopes for this book. The reviews were great and the blurb sounded so good:

“In 1622, Grey Rabbit—an Ojibwe woman, a mother and wife—struggles to understand a dream-life that has taken on fearful dimensions. As she and her family confront the hardship of living near the “big water,” her psyche and her world edge toward irreversible change. In 1902, Berit and Gunnar, a Norwegian fishing couple, also live on the lake. Berit is unable to conceive, and the lake anchors her isolated life, testing the limits of her endurance and spirit. And in 2000, when Nora, a seasoned bar owner, loses her job and is faced with an open-ended future, she is drawn reluctantly into a road trip around the great lake. As these narratives unfold and overlap with the mesmerizing rhythm of waves, a fourth mysterious character gradually comes into stark relief.”

Each chapter was a different year, 1622, 1902 and 2000. The minute you started getting interested in one of the stories, it jumped to a different year. Each chapter ended with some poetry, which I’m not that fond of and neither was most of the group.

None of these stories had anything to do with each other, which made it more difficult for us. Sure, some of the historical points were interesting, but otherwise, it felt just like random stories, and really nothing exciting happening. We later learned their commonality was the lake. That’s it. That fourth character (spoiler alert) was the lake.

It’s not often I can’t finish reading something! We were all disappointed. But if you are into poetic symbolism, you’d probably enjoy this book.

Our next book is “Something Wicked.” We apparently need some excitement after the last book. That and we are all tired of the long, seemingly never-ending winter.

Here’s hoping this book is much better...


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