Monday, October 5, 2009

Jen's Book Review: Wit's End

Wit's End by Karen Joy Fowler follows Rima Lanisell as she visits her godmother Addison for the first time at her home nicknamed Wit's End. Rima lost her mother several years ago and has recently lost her father and her brother. She comes to visit Addison to recover and learn more about her godmother's relationship with her father. Addison is a famous, bestselling mystery writer who used Rima's father as a character in one of her first books. Addison has fought to protect her privacy and her characters but is failing due to the capabilities of the internet with its blogs, chat rooms, etc. Her fans are even stealing her main character detective Maxwell Lane and creating stories of their own with him. Rima investigates her father's past, reading letters from one of Addison's fans who also knew her father, visiting a cult town called Holy City where he lived, and getting stories from Addison. Rima also encounters what she thinks is a crazed fan of Addison but turns out to be someone who knows more about Addison than Rima wanted to know.

I'm not sure if it was just my constant falling asleep whenever I tried to read the book, or if the book was actually not that good, but I really didn't enjoy it. I hate to quit books, so I really persevered and fought through even though I was never intrigued. Several times I had to read the book jacket to remind myself about what the book was supposed to be. The story jumped around between Rima's present and Addison's memories with Rima's father. I couldn't get over Addison's weird dollhouse recreations of the death scenes in each of her books that she had on display throughout the house. Everything was just too odd. I kept getting confused about the fictional character in the book that was actually Rima's father and her real life father. Even though I never got into the story, I felt like the ending was not conclusive.

I have read Karen Joy Fowler's book The Jane Austen Book Club and enjoyed it, so I was very surprised to not like this book at all. Usually an author keeps the same writing style in all of their books, and sometimes it is that writing style that intrigues me more than the story, but I guess Fowler is the exception. Keep in mind that this is just my opinion, and if you are at all interested in the book, by all means read it and form your own opinion!



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