Monica Ali's Alentejo Blue is set in rural Portugal, and it's one of those books that ties several different characters and plot lines together into one. It reminded me a little of Let the Great World Spin, although it wasn't nearly as good. Or interesting.
This isn't a particularly long book. I can normally knock out a book of this length in 3-5 days, but I had to force myself to finish it. When I did manage to make myself read it, I often found I had turned the page and had no idea what I'd read. Maybe I'm too dumb for this book (although I really don't think that's the case), but I found it pretty pretentiously and unnecessarily complicated. Like... She would talk about things without really talking about them in a "read between the lines" sort of way, when, really, why can't you just say it? I get the intrigue that it's supposed to add, but it was just waaaaay too much in this particular instance.
There were some characters that I really liked in this book, but they happened to be the ones that lasted for a chapter and then never got mentioned again. The really boring ones were the ones who had several chapters devoted to them. Even the interesting parts about the boring characters got dropped. I don't even get the logic behind the plot of this book at all. And really, in the end, you realize that none of it had a point. I don't think it even made a statement about the Alentejo region, which I think is what the purpose of the book was supposed to be.
Whatever. I am rarely scathing with a book review (unless it's Twilight, but come on, who expects anyone to say anything good about Twilight?), but dang. Skip this one.
Read from November 5, 2010 to November 15, 2010