The Short Review: A slow burn with a great narrator and an epic story. Recommend if you’re lounging on the beach all day, but you need a book with some heft to keep you company.
The Long Review: When I picked up this book—after winning it in a giveaway—the first thing I noticed was how distinct the voice was. Although the narrator (Dores) has a strong voice, it feels so controlled by Peebles. It actually reminded me of when I read The House of Impossible Beauties by Joseph Cassara earlier this year, except Peebles is more grounded and you can tell this isn’t her first rodeo. The language is gorgeous and it feels like she’s scattered jewels across the pages. This voice is what helped me push past the slow building first hundred pages. At one point, at around page 70, I considered abandoning ship—not because I wasn’t enjoying it, but because I wasn’t sure where it was going to go and I was ready for something bigger to happen. Thankfully, once we get to part two, the story hits it’s stride.
The characters are so well crafted, and I loved that the choices they made felt honest and not in service of the plot. Which, speaking of the plot, once it actually takes off, there are so many twists and turns, it’s hard to get bored. I’m sure one could argue that there’s too many twists and turns, or even that the writing is too glittery, but this is a book about two young women searching for stardom (among other plot points) and if that’s not deserving of the roller coaster plot and the lyrical prose, I’m not sure what is.
I’d recommend reading this in two or three sittings. I think the more breaks you take from a book like this, the more it affects your reception of the novel. I know I’d have loved this book even more had I been able to sit and stay in the story. I’d be curious to know anyone’s thoughts on this book! If you’ve read it, let me know your thoughts!
Also, I know this is a shorter review. I’ve been super busy with work lately, but I’m trying to stay on top of these. If you have any feedback on whether you prefer the longer or shorter reviews, leave a comment below!