BookBrowse Reviews Our Kind by Kate Walbert

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Our Kind

A Novel in Stories

by Kate Walbert

Our Kind by Kate Walbert
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  • First Published:
    Apr 2004, 195 pages
    Paperback:
    Jan 2005, 208 pages

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Short Stories

From the book jacket: Kate Walbert conveys the dreams and reality of a group of women who came into the quick rush of adulthood, marriage, and child-bearing during the 1950s. Narrating from the heart of ten companions, Walbert subtly depicts all the anger, disappointment, vulnerability, and pride of her characters: "Years ago we were led down the primrose lane, then abandoned somewhere near the carp pond."  Now alone, with their own daughters grown, they are finally free -- and ready to take charge: from staging an intervention for the town deity to protesting the slaughter of the country club's fairway geese, to dialing former lovers in the dead of night.

Comment: The reviews for 'Our Kind' are overwhelmingly positive, even glowing - but personally I found the connected short stories to be a little hard going and not as enjoyable as Walbert's earlier book, 'The Gardens of Kyoto'.  I'm not entirely sure whether it was the somewhat ephemeral writing style or the subject matter that didn't gel for me - but many was the time when I just wished the characters would get on and say what they had to say instead of making me do the work of understanding them, when I wasn't really sure that I was interested enough in their lives to make the effort.  However, as I said, I appear to be in the minority with this opinion and, as always, you can browse an extensive excerpt at BookBrowse and make up your own mind!

This review is from the February 2, 2005 issue of BookBrowse Recommends. Click here to go to this issue.



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