This One Is Mine by Maria Semple

After the wise and charming Where’d You Go Bernadette? I really wanted to delve into this author’s back catalog and be as similarly enthralled. Alas, Maria Semple’s debut novel This One Is Mine lacks the wit of WYGB, instead drawing on a cast of unlikeable characters who spend most of the book being mean or stupid or selfish, or some combination of the three. There are glimmers of the compassion that’s such a large part of WYGB, but the way this novel is written strips the characters of pathos, and makes it read a bit like The Corrections-lite (which some people might consider a good thing, ech.) I get the Anna Karenina homage, and like the idea of it as an updated version of that sans the long digressions into agriculture, but I don’t think it works on its own (and regular readers know my opinion of AK, which doesn’t help this book any either.)

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