Sunday, August 27, 2006

Reading The Distinguished Guest

On the last day of the Mexican Portion of the honeymoon, while waiting at Los Cabos International Airport, I dove back into fiction for grown-ups. I started reading The Distinguished Guest by Sue Miller. Honestly, I’d never heard of Sue Miller before. The reason this book is in my possession is because I received it as a birthday gift years ago. It sat on my shelf because I didn’t know who the author was and I wasn’t particularly interested by the description of the story. For some reason, perhaps just the length of time it sat untouched, I chose to bring it with us to Los Cabos.

Slowly, I’ve been inching through it. I forced myself through the first chapter and found myself needing to take a break. I seem to only be able to read a chapter (or less) at a time. It is actually a little irritating. I can usually power through a book. I have to tell myself to put it down. I need sleep, I have things I need to do. Only as I’ve passed page 65, is the story getting somewhat interesting. Perhaps it is just the new character that has been introduced.

The characters are bland so far. Miller tries to make them three dimensional by having them go back to memories of their past. These ‘memories’ are just as flat as the characters are in the present. The physical appearance of the characters are described in detail, but they don’t have that feeling of being real. Maybe there are too many? Maybe it’s that most of the characters are much older than myself (though I’ve never had that be a problem before)? I just haven’t connected with anything or anyone yet. Hopefully the new character helps improve the story.

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