This is a gimmick book, which in itself isn't a bad thing if there's a good story in there. Maybe there was a such thing in this, but unfortunately for me all that was buried under heaps of problems.
The first ninety pages were a positive surprise. A man writing a fifteen-year-old girl in first person voice can only end up in disaster, was my first thought and indeed it was too good to last. Because the first time jump and second part started the stalker trend.
Instead of continuing writing Holly's story from her perspective, Mitchell does everything in his power to reduce her into a pawn and object in the lives of men around her. Holly disappears into the background and is only shown through glimpses in the moments most important to her life and story.
A one night stand, a would be husband, the love of her adult life, and then the world saving or ending battle through an alien black woman. That's a bad description but it's the best I can do for the fifth narrator and point of view character. To add insult to the injury Mitchell uses POC to refer to a "Pear Occident Company" and reduces the immortals into small minded trans-phobics with a single line.
Fun times end with a second short part from Holly's point of view and with her aged voice, but it's too little too late. The story, its characters, and the author had already lost me for good.
...maybe you'll climb out of it at some point but the smart ones drive off the bridge right at the beginning.
Oh, wow. That turned out more meta than I intended.
Anyhoo. The first chapter is called The Bridge, it's only two pages long and it's the only good chapter in this book of 521 pages. There were a handful of good observations or amusing passages here or there, but nothing resembling a coherent, well written, good story. And I wasted all three weeks of my holiday reading it. So. Boring.
I have an itch to read The Handmaid's Tale at some point, so I won't say I won't be reading Atwood ever again. But it's a close thing.
Wasn't quite sure how I felt about this book and only finished reading it because I *needed* to know. Then I quite liked the ending, it was mature and somewhat open but definitely a step in the right direction and the second I read the word epilogue I knew my joy had been premature.
Moriarty's strength is in the biting description of urban family life, so if you can't relate to it—raises hand—it's probably safer to stay away. Mysteries be damned.
It's good to know that white women have the equal opportunity to suck at writing and publishing as white men do.
If you ever feel tempted, my advice is that you should pick up the book from library, sit down to read the first short story of this collection, then put the book back on the shelf and walk away.
Just, walk away.