Thursday, June 21, 2012

Perfect Reader

The word graceful kept coming to mind as I was reading Perfect Reader by Maggie Pouncey. As much as this might sound like I'm trying to write a jacket blurb, there was just something very self-assured and elegant about the writing that gave it a real gracefulness and made it a pleasure to read.

Flora, a twenty-something New Yorker, returns to the upstate college town where she grew up after her father, an eminent literary critic and retired professor, passes away suddenly. Named his heir and literary executor, Flora temporarily moves into his house. As she deals with her grief, she slowly begins to learn about some unknown aspects of his life, like the fact that he had a girlfriend. It's not a groundbreaking story, but its one that manages to pull off the difficult feat of creating characters who are complex and who sometimes do unlikeable things, but who are ultimately interesting and sympathetic.

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