Friday, March 06, 2009

The Emperor's Children by Claire Messud

I just finished reading, or listening rather, to Claire Messud's "The Emperor's Children."

I really enjoyed listening to this book. I even took to downloading the audio book and listening to it on my MP3 player so that I may listen while not in my car.

It is so well written. Beautiful descriptions. Lyrical sentences. I've rarely read (again, or listened to) a book where I felt like I knew exactly what the author was trying to say. It spoke to me, every scene, every character came alive.

Unfortunately I finished the book feeling dissatisfied. The resolutions of many of the characters remained unclear at book's end. The author left me wondering what happened to all of the people I had come to love and with whom I commiserated, which I think it a disservice to the readers who had spend so much time getting to know them. Ultimately, what purpose does it serve to create a story of intertwining dialogues and perspectives just to let them all fall flat at the end by providing no or a weak resolution?

I'll definitely buy it and read the story (really read it) just to observe how Messud constructs her sentences and paints her descriptions. I'll even read another one of her novels. She's a masterful writer, I hope only on further investigation that her storytelling is better than what I conceived upon my first impression.

You can read Salon's review and recap of her story here.

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