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Monday, November 20, 2006

A fairly interesting story without too much thinking required. Sophy recently left her husband of 10 years to live in New York City. She gets involved with a man and his four children, when interrupted by the death of her husband. She abruptly leaves to return to the island they lived on and sort out both his life and her own. Sophy deals with questions of what it means to be a woman & a mother, what she needs to write about, where her hope comes from, who her friends are.

Sphy's husband was in the CIA, which adds an interesting element to the story. When he is discovered dead, he's been there for about three weeks, so there is little which can be determined about how he died. When his son died he almost committed suicide, so many wonder if Sophy's leaving caused his death. Sophy wants to find clues to his death -- to see if he left messages for her, for his two daughters, and his ex-wife. But at one point she realizes that she needs to stop investigating and just let herself grieve.

I was disappointed with this book. Didn't seem to have much to say. Started with some inflammatory remarks about sex to get your attention, but they didn't really pertain to the story. In some sense - but not worth being the first thing mentioned. Various individuals are seen as 'shallow' or 'deep', but most of them fall into the shallow category. Everyone is hiding something, trying to cover certain parts of their life so others (including family) won't see. That doesn't work well -- and when it does, life can be pretty empty and scary because there's nowhere to be yourself. Toward the end sophy is perhaps discovering room to be herself and deal with her own pain and acknowledge her past, but there doesn't seem to be much hope for the future. Or even that much hope for today.

Author: Elizabeth Benedict
Date published:2001
Genre: Fiction
Number of pages: 258
Notes: Read in less than 24 hours


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