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Monday, October 17, 2011

The Gin Closet

The Gin Closet
Leslie Jamison
Free Press, 2010

Stella is at a crossroads after her grandmother dies. She has a crappy job in New York but feels on edge. When her mother refuses to tell Stella's aunt about their mother's death, Stella feels an obligation to seek her out and tell her in person. Her brother thinks she is crazy but agrees to accompany  her to Nevada anyway.

On the edge of dying from alcoholism after running away from home when she was a teen, Tilly Rudolph's life changes with the arrival of her niece Stella. Living in a crappy trailor, she has virtually no contact with the outside world and much prefers her life drinking in a small closet. When Stella arrives, she is at first resistant to Stella's attempts to help her, but she becomes more optimistic about things when Stella convinces her to move to San Francisco to reunite with Tilly's son.

Reviewers loved this book but I could barely force myself to finish it. It may have poetic and moving language, but I felt the writing was lost on the depressing plot and sad characters. I found myself caring very little what happened to Stella and Tilly as each page slowly unfolded into another boring and pitiful day for them. In fact, I highly recommend a good gin and tonic for any reader who finds him or herself assigned to read this book -- you will need some help to get to the predictably sad end.

This is the author’s first novel.


Other titles you may enjoy (more than this one):

Blue Shoe by Anne Lamott (2002)
When she stumbles upon a small blue shoe and other small items left behind in her deceased father's car, Mattie Ryder, a divorced mother of two, and her brother struggle to uncover the truth about their dysfunctional upbringing.

Men and Dogs by Katie Crouch (2010)
After the loss of her business and her husband sets her adrift, Hannah Legare is compelled to try to solve the mystery behind her father's disappearance when she was 11, an endeavor that hinges on her ability to unlock secrets long held by her brother and ex-boyfriend. .

Paradise by A.L. Kennedy (2005)
Hannah Luckraft finds an escape from her sales job, her strained relations with her younger brother, and her lonely and difficult life in her growing relationship with alcoholic Robert, as she looks to find happiness in an ultimate altered state.

1 comment:

  1. Is a two cupcake rating pretty good? Sounds like a fun read.