Monday, June 23, 2014
Sisters in books...
First Line: The night before the worst day of my life, I dreamed the sun went dark and ice cracked every mirror in the house, but I didn't take it for a warning.
Characters: Olivia and Jazz Moon, two sisters grieving the death of their mother. Olivia, who sees sounds and tastes words, is exasperating and impossible; she's also a dreamer who goes blind staring at the sun. Jazz, who can't compete with her younger sister, is down-to-earth, responsible, and angry; she also feels like it's her job to watch out for her sister.
My Thoughts: When they're together, Olivia and Jazz bring out the worst in each other; around Jazz, Olivia seems incredibly selfish and spoiled, while Jazz seems rigid and controlling. I liked them much better apart. Luckily, they both do some growing up over the course of this novel. My favorite character was Hobbs, the tattooed train-hopping wanderer the two sisters meet along the way. I knew about synesthesia--the stimulation of senses other than those receiving input (like hearing colors, or tasting sounds)--before I read this novel, but glimpsing the world as viewed through the eyes of someone (Olivia) who has this 'faulty wiring' was fascinating. And I love the way Walsh writes--there's just enough poetry in her words to make her prose sing. Most of all, I liked the way she divided her novel (and Olivia's and Jazz's journey) into the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. What a great way to tell this story!
Similar read: When Venus Fell by Deborah Smith