“Among the Ten Thousand Things” is the story of a family falling apart. Julia Pierpont shows the reader in exquisite and funereal detail all the ways in which the Shanley family — Jack the philandering artist, Deb the former dancer, teenage Simon and pre-teen Kay — is uniquely unhappy.
It’s a well-written, sometimes lyrical book, but it isn’t a particularly enjoyable one. I slogged through it, but I didn’t like any of the characters and every chapter left me feeling melancholy. Which I guess is the purpose of the Unhappy Family genre.
I’m reviewing books every now and again with the BlogHer Book Club, and my first review went live today. Here’s the plot-summary bit of it:
I so enjoyed reading Jean Kwok’s “Girl in Translation,” even though the book twisted my heartstrings at nearly every turn. It’s the story of a young girl who moves with her mother from Hong Kong to New York on the promise of a new life. When things don’t pan out as expected, Kimberly and her mother are forced into what I’m pretty sure qualifies as indentured servitude at a sweatshop.
You can read the rest at BlogHer. It’s a really good book, and I think you’d like it.