Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Enon by Paul Harding

I love getting ARCs (Advance Reader Copies) of books. I feel as though I'm on the inside and am getting a sneak preview of what has not yet been released.

I was excited to learn that I won an ARC of Paul Harding's new book, ENONicon though librarything.com's Early Reviewers program.
(The Early Reviewer program is a free, lottery-style ARC giveaway. All they ask in return is a review on their site that is at least 25 words long. Deal!
Go to librarything.com and check it out!)


Paul Harding wrote the Pulitzer Prize winning book, TINKERSicon, which I liked very much. Told through the wandering memory of an old man near the end of his life, it was short and quite lovely. Liking TINKERSicon so well made me eager to receive an ARC of Harding's second book, especially when I found out that the main character in ENONicon (Charlie) is the grandson of the main character in TINKERSicon (George). I like it when authors connect their books through characters.

But the title was a little off-putting. What is Enon? A person? A place? Does the word have some other meaning that will be explained in the book??

I could get past that, though.

So. Into the story. Charlie narrates ENONicon, Charlie, a middle-aged man with a 13 year old daughter who dies. On the first page. Um...

Charlie struggles with his daughter's death, and the narrative meanders from the present to the past to the further past as Charlie, so deep in his grief, struggles with his life now that his only child is dead.

The meandering narration didn't work as well for me this time in ENONicon. Interesting because I liked it so well in TINKERSicon. I found myself getting annoyed at the wandering..."He already told this same story five pages ago, and he's telling it again? And I'm only 20 pages in..."

I wanted to like this book. I wondered if I wasn't attracted to the sad story. Or the wandering narration. I read TINKERS not too long after my own mother died, so perhaps it felt more pertinent to me. Or maybe this just wasn't the right time for this book for me.

I'll be interested to read other reviews and see how other people liked it!

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