Most helpful positive review
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Great in so many ways
on April 23, 2008
When I read a book, I'm looking for a lot--a great sense of place, characters that I actually care about, and a story that feels like it's going somewhere. I like to feel that these characters mean something to me, going about their lives in an interesting place, doing interesting things, and that stuff is going on.
Pru and her sister seem real, seem like women I've known, have hopes and desperation and humor the likes of which I know, and their lives don't seem like programmed steps in a novel-writing formula of what-should-happen-next, but instead unfold with the real, gentle grace of real life ... only a bit wittier, a bit snappier, and with a bit more style. The writing is really smart, funny, and has such a great voice--if you don't know exactly what that means, read this book--you'll start to see and hear the world through Pru (and Flowers's) gimlet eye--sharp, whip smart, and with a tangy wit.
And the story goes on in two fully realized places, both DC and the beach ... I've read a lot of fiction with a great sense of place--from Marcus Sakey's Chicago to Elmore Leonard's Detroit and Miami, Lehane's Boston, and Pelecanos's DC ... and while Flowers isn't hard boiled like those guys, she creates a DC that is real and lived in and immediate, just like Pelecanos and the rest ... a really lovely, meaningful, and intelligent book, that stayed with me long after I put it down. Good stuff.