Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A Change in .....

One of the spawns of CursingMama and Mr. Motorcycle is the kind of spawn (is that anyway to speak of my darling children? Yes - some days it is) who is wholly opposed to change. This child would prefer to eat the same food at the same time, wearing the same clothes, in the same chair, watching the same television show, with the same pet attempting to get the same food out of the same bowl every single day. I wish I was exaggerating, but I assure you this is one of the few times I am not.

My child doesn't like it when things change, it doesn't matter if the change is for the good, for the bad, or has no real affect other than coffee cups are kept on a different shelf. The kid doesn't even use those coffee cups.

I tell you this because I have a habit of falling into habits which appear as though they are an aversion to change; I swear that this isn't really true. I'm not a huge proponent of change, I like to know what is coming, I may have a wee tendency toward finding comfort in sameness and being able to control things; but I'm not totally and wholly opposed to change. In fact I occasionally welcome change, maybe even ask for it.

It was a need for change that had me looking at my stack of books to read (actually it is a basket, a stack, and a pile but who is keeping track of that) and selecting A Change in Altitude by Anita Shreve.

Prior to this book I had been on a bender of books that featured brooding hard bodied hero's, hapless tiny waisted heroins, undercover operations, questionable literary value (depending on who you ask the Smart Bitches would have been all over their value) and reviews that would have included the Spicy kind of heat sensor

Although I enjoyed most of the books, I will admit that I found myself overloaded with the spice and in need of something that was a little deeper (so to speak) than a tequila popper in the nightclub of books.

A Change in Altitude is no hard shot, it is much more akin to a full bodied wine developed in rugged oak casks stored in a centuries old winery. A substantial change from the pass the salt, where's my lime, party-girl stuff I'd been reading.

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Title: A Change in Altitude
Author: Anita Shreve
Publisher: Little Brown and Company
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Pages: 320 (Hardcover)
On Sale: September 22, 2009

Authors Website
Indie Bound

Margaret and Patrick have been married just a few months when they set off on what they hope will be a great adventure-a year living in Kenya. Margaret quickly realizes there is a great deal she doesn't know about the complex mores of her new home, and about her own husband.

A British couple invites the newlyweds to join on a climbing expedition to Mount Kenya, and they eagerly agree. But during their harrowing ascent, a horrific accident occurs. In the aftermath of the tragedy, Margaret struggles to understand what happened on the mountain and how these events have transformed her and her marriage, perhaps forever.

A literature professors dream, A Change in Altitude is filled with the elements I was taught make a good work of fiction; the most important being a compelling story. Taking this book on was a challenge compared to what I had been reading and I occasionally found myself going back and rereading to ensure that I was following, wasn't missing the symbolism, the foreshadowing, the themes, the allegory. I finished this book nearly a month ago and it has taken me some time to feel the full effect, to no longer need to reflect; reading A Change in Altitude was a challenge for me, one that I occasionally questioned the sanity of, but one that I ultimately enjoyed.

I give A Change in Altitude by Anita Shreve


PS. doesn't Anita Shreve have wonderful book covers ?!? They easily pass the good cover test & tempt me to grab them off the shelf regardless of what the books might be about.

PPS I am tempted to write Ms. Shreve and ask her if she kept all those pesky literary terms and elements in mind as she wrote or, as I often suspect, if the reader is the one who makes the connection and it was never the authors intention.

In exchange for reading & reviewing this book I was provided my own copy by Little Brown and Company.


Keri said...

"the reader is the one who makes the connection and it was never the authors intention."

That's always my suspicion, too! LOL

I read her novel Body Surfing in a day. Really got pulled in. But I suspected anything more from her and I would find her to be formulaic. I don't know why I thought that, though. Might have to pick this one up since I liked the last one. My daughter read Body Surfing too and hated how it ended. Can't please everyone!

Chris said...

Those more serious books are staring at me from the shelf right now... Eeek!