I was in the mood for something quirky and funny, and this novel was recommended to me for just that reason. I went into the story without knowing much, but I finished the novel over a 2hr bus ride and had a really good time! So here is my review:
The Rockwell women are one-of-a-kind, and they owe it all to their eccentric mother. Growing up, Esme, Liv, and Ru were never encouraged by their mother, Augusta to talk about their absent father. In fact, the only thing Augusta would ever say is that their father was an international spy. This, along with their unconventional upbringing has had its own consequences: Esme is struggling through a failing marriage while trying to keep her precocious 15-year-old daughter in check. Liv finds herself desperately searching through newspapers for her next husband. And Ru runs away from every problem and person in her life. So when Hurricane Sandy hits the family home, the Rockwells come together to assess the damage – and discover a long-buried box that holds a startling secret, one that will completely change the sisters’ concept of family.
I was looking for quirky and this novel definitely delivered! Told from various different perspectives and time points, the story shows how each character developed (and continues to develop) as well as how they interact with each other. The weird humor that infected this novel was an interesting touch and it left me both incredulous and happy. I know that this is a far-fetched story with conversations and characters that are hard to believe in, but I think that was the whole point of this novel. You’re supposed to roll with the punches and not let the unrealistic elements bog you down; at least, that’s how I interpret any book that is marketed as quirky! I liked that each character was different, and had their time in the limelight to explain themselves because it allowed me to get a bit (not a lot!) of a connection with them. You also get to see how the characters change after the big secret comes out. The one thing that bothered me throughout the novel, however, is that when the characters were reflecting on themselves and their personalities and their lives, it sounded very artificial and scripted. It seemed as if the author was desperate to make some point about identity and relationships, and it all seemed forced and lacked genuineness. It was the one drawback I had, and while it didn’t ruin the reading experience, it definitely could have been fixed. Overall, I had an enjoyable time reading this novel. It is a quirky novel that tries to be deep at times (not altogether successfully) but it is a fun read nevertheless!