(a mini book review)
Have I mentioned my addiction to Jennifer Egan lately? Well, I should have, as last week I finished (yet another) one of her books, The Keep. I’ll start off by saying this book is magnificent.
Mini-synopsis: Danny, a once soccer star/perfect son, is now a conflicted, controversial adult addicted to staying connected and attempting to find his identity. Out of nowhere he is offered a position, by his childhood friend and cousin, in an old Eastern European castle. As we read, we find the cousins are tormented by a experience from their childhood, and their connections with each other continue to unravel as the mysterious and enchanting scene of the Castle developes.
In the meantime, we learn that, Ray, a convicted murderer in a high-security prison is telling our story within the confines of a creative writing class. Ray’s story begins to merge with Danny’s as the opposing narrators demand priority and attention within the novel.
I loved this book. Egan not only sets us up in a crumbling Eastern European Castle, but does it from the inside of a murderer’s creative writing class, and we still care about the plot line! Amazing talent in weaving plot and strong writing are the main contributors to this masterful construction. Egan again uses quick wit and the constant struggle between what is and is not reality to keep readers hooked. You fall into the minds of the narrators, and as this happens you see yourself grasping to understand their realities as much as they are. If you are looking for a book that challenges reality and fantasy, this is it. She manages to make it a haunting love story, but not in any way you would expect.
Go get this book! You’ll be blown away by it.
“…which was challenging and thrilling and all that crap but also dangerous, because ‘self-exploration’ is always dangerous for that nice outline you thought was you.”