Saturday, January 26, 2008

Saturday Book Talk:The Kept Man

It has temporarily stopped raining, but if a red sky in the morning is a portent of bad weather to come, I'll enjoy these colorful clouds for their drama but know that something big is still out there.

Just finished reading Jami Attenberg's newest book The Kept Man
a novel about Jarvis, a young woman whose husband, Martin, has spent the last 6 years in a vegetative state. His life suspended and supported by machinery; her life suspended with little support at all. She cannot make the choice to end his life and begin hers again.

When her washer breaks down, it forces Jarvis out onto the streets to find a local laundrymat. There she meets four men dependent on their successful wives for their own support. These men are like both Jarvis and Martin- kept almost in suspended animation - trying to appear as if they are living a full and complete life.

The story sways to earlier times and then back to the present where Jarvis is propelled to finally begin to reclaim a life for herself. Her four new friends in part instigate this change in Jarvis and maybe in themselves.

I found the story wonderfully written with a rhythm I could sink into. It was comfortable and a bit unsettling at the same time. Jarvis is complex whole person formed through her recollections from the past and her keen observations of the world around her. A world she more observes than participates in.

If you are looking for a read with some tooth to it, consider picking up this book. I'm glad I read it. Not sure if you'd be interested in reading this book? There is a wonderful video preview of the book here on YouTube.

I also blog at: Deb's Daily Distractions and BlogHer on Mondays and Saturdays.

No comments: