What happens when two thirtysomething siblings relive the summer reading programs of their youth in an all-out battle of the books? The race is on as they read by the rules and keep tally on their logs to see who will be the ultimate reader by Labor Day 2010.

July 10, 2010

My Summer with Julia, Sarah Woodhouse

A still pond.
My daughter cleaning her bedroom.

These are all things that move faster than the plot of "My Summer with Julia".

Don't get me wrong, it's not that I didn't like the book; I felt for Annie and had some curiousity about whether she would ever resolve her feelings about her childhood friend, Julia. We all have best friends from growing up from whom we've drifted; we can imagine how it might feel to suddenly be informed that this person has died and has left a locked box to you in the will. I simply wanted more to happen in the 10-15 minute increments that I have to read. I needed to feel like I had made some progress in the story, something that would make me want to pick the book up a few hours later. The central secret of the plot-- what did child Julia do-- is obvious to the reader in the early pages, yet not officially revealed until the final chapters. As I turned each page, I wondered if we were finally going to get to the meat of something. Would Annie share the contents of the box with anyone? Would she learn more about Julia's life after their friendship ended so abruptly? Would she track down Alain? Would she pay attention to her kids? Her sister? Her husband?

Ultimately, "My Summer with Julia" is about precisely that: one specific summer. For those readers who like to live in a character's mind, this one's for you. Otherwise, keep browsing.

1 comment:

  1. I would add "Brendan reading" to your above list.