It kind of says something when I want to bounce ideas about the book I'm reading off my husband, and all I can think to say is, "meh, it's fine." (He's gotten quite used to having me talk about books he hasn't had a chance to read yet, and tends to have amazing insights anyway. And if he doesn't, I at least get to formulate my ideas out loud, which is always how I think best, and he listens patiently.)
telling may be the part where I started this book, and then remembered
that I'd read it before. But not in any way that anything had really
stuck with me. There was no rush of "oh, yes, I remember that!" that I
got when I was rereading David Copperfield, and bits I'd forgotten
rushed back to welcome me like old friends. It was more "oh, yeah, I did
read that. Huh."
And yet, it's not terrible. I just feel terribly neutral about it. It's fine. It really is.
just not anything more. I'd say maybe it's cultural, but I've read
plenty of books, some about different cultures, where different
generations fundamentally don't understand each other. Some of those
have been freaking fantastic. Maybe it's me. Maybe it's not.
It's also that this genre exploded after The Joy Luck Club,
with books about Chinese women's experiences in the United States, and
so I also have some of the knowledge of the books this spawned, and it
doesn't seem so unique anymore. It might have been at the time, but once
novelty is taken away, it's just...fine.
Four Chinese women
lament that their Americanized daughters don't understand them. Four
daughters are annoyed that their mothers don't understand them. The
writing is fine, the characters are fine, it just doesn't sparkle or
leap off the page.
It's not bad. It's just not great. Hopefully this time I'll retain the memory of having read it.