Thursday, July 24, 2008

Review : So Long at the Fair

So Long at the Fair by Christina Schwarz. Doubleday (2008).

So Long at the Fair is a story of two families that intertwine over the course of two generations. The main focus is on a day in the life of Jon and Ginny, a couple who is struggling after years of marriage. Christina Schwarz presents several strands of narrative throughout the book including the present, memories of the past from each of the characters, and flashbacks to 1963--a year that changed the course of both Jon's and Ginny's parents. While I find it hard to explain here, Schwarz does an admirable job of managing them all. After all this, I was surprised at the resolution (or lack thereof) of these various strands. I finished the book a few days ago and have come to appreciate this fact. It allows the reader to create their own "next chapter" for the characters and interpret events as they choose. There are other surprises along the way, which always kept me coming back for more. If you hate reading about extramarital affairs or like stories wrapped up in a neat, little bow, this probably isn't the book for you. However, if you like to mull over a book even after you've finished it and enjoy reflections on human foibles, pick this one up now.

10 comments:

  1. I *just* received this ARC. Sounds good, but I probably won't get to it for a while. *shrugs*

    ReplyDelete
  2. I've seen others say they've had difficulty following the time shifts, but I didn't really have a problem. I hope you enjoy it!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I just posted my review of So Long at the Fair here and linked to yours...

    ReplyDelete
  4. I also reviewed this book on my site. While I didn't have difficulty with the time shifts/point of view changes, I felt it was lacking.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I enjoyed your review, you didn't give anything away it seems, I like that. I have no problem with keeping the threads and time shifts in my head but it's good you warned people who may just want an easy narrative line.

    ReplyDelete
  6. This books sounds interesting. I've never read anything by Christina Schwarz, but I love books that cover different generations.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I enjoyed your review - I read Drowning Ruth by the same author, and once I started reading it, found the style of the book to become easier to read. :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. I really enjoyed Drowning Ruth, so I was excited to hear that Schwarz had a new book out. I'm looking forward to this one, though it sounds a bit more difficult than Drowning Ruth.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I've never read anything by this author. After reading several reviews I'm really interested in how the book is layed out.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I happen to enjoy to enjoy stories that are wrapped in little bows so I'm going check this book out in the near future.

    ReplyDelete