by David Vann
But the story turns dark. Caitlin meets an elderly man at the aquarium who also seems interested in fish and gradually becomes her friend. She wants to introduce him to her mother, and is shocked by the violent reaction this triggers. The encounter unearths secrets and deep resentment from her mother's past. It was hard to read the second half of the book. I really did not like the way Caitlin's mother tried to force her daughter to relive her own miserable past. Really disturbing. Considering the depth of emotional trauma, the ending seemed wrapped up pretty quickly, how this family resolved their issues. And there's a secondary theme going on at the same time- Caitlin's growing attraction to a classmate who is also her best friend and a girl. Her mother's recovery from the shock of finding this out also seemed way too quick. I could have easily read a few more chapters exploring how they really went through the healing process and worked out new family dynamics.
While I really like the way the author uses words to create unfamiliary, vivid imagery, I'm not sure if I want to read more of his books. A glance at a few more reviews tells me most of his books have dark themes. I borrowed this book from the public library.
Rating: 3/5 266 pages, 2015
Bibliophile by the Sea