The Waterstone’s 11 are 11 books written by author who will make their debuts in 2011. The first chapter’s of all the books are posted on the Waterstones Website and I am reviewing all of them. Click the links to see my reviews of The Coincidence Engine, The Tiger’s Wife and When God was a Rabbit.
The Sentimentalists- Johanna Skibsrub
Haunted by the horrific events he witnessed during the Vietnam War, Napoleon Haskell is exhausted from years spent battling his memories. As his health ultimately declines, his two daughters move him from his trailer in North Dakota to Casablanca, Ontario, to live with the father of Napoleon’s friend who was killed in action. It is to Casablanca, on the shores of a man-made lake beneath which lie the remains of the former town, that Napoleon’s youngest daughter also retreats when her own life comes unhinged. Living with the two old men, she finds her father in the twilight of his life and rapidly slipping into senility. With love and insatiable curiosity, she devotes herself to learning the truth about him; and through the fog, Napoleon’s past begins to emerge. Beautiful, taut and riveting, “The Sentimentalists” is a story of what lies beneath the surface of the everyday, and of the commanding power of the past. Drawing on her own experience as a war veteran’s daughter, Skibsrud’s novel captures the rich complexities encountered by a woman seeking to comprehend and frankly express the truth – in all its fragility – about her life and her family. (from Waterstones)
Thoughts from Synopsis
This sounds like it would drag out a little, but could be interesting, the general topic at least interests me but I probably wouldn’t buy it based on the synopsis.
Thoughts from First Chapter
Well first off I started reading The Sentimentalists in the middle of February. Straight off I found it a little confusing, and not at all engaging. I had to stop reading and haven’t until now wanted to return to it, in fact the only reason I have returned to it today is because I said I would read all the extracts of the Waterstones Eleven and I want to see that through. It didn’t become any more compelling either when I did get back to it. The tone is quite nice and authentic, when you read it it feels a little disjointed and I didn’t like that, but I suppose it makes it more like a stream of consciousness and in a way that’s good.