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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