Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release Date: 1st March 2012
Genre: Adult/Literary fiction
It is late summer 2008 and, as the world economy goes into meltdown, forty-year-old Salinger Nash, plagued since adolescence by a mercurial depression, leaves the London house he shares with his girlfriend, Tiane, for his older brother’s home in the Garden District of New Orleans. Carson Nash has persuaded Salinger that they should find their missing father, Henry- last known location Las Cruces, New Mexico. But it is with a sense of foreboding that Salinger sets off with his brother. Painfully aware that their own relationship is distant and strained, will dragging up the past and confronting their father going to help or harm them? Meanwhile back in London, Tiane isn’t answering Salinger’s increasingly urgent messages. Why? – GR
My main problem with this book was the characters. Salinger and Carson are extremely unlikeable and have clearly been purposely written that way, but though I knew that and tried to tell myself that it’s a realistic portrayal of people – not everyone is likeable and pleasant – I just couldn’t muster up the amount of empathy this book needed to be successful in its message. Salinger is very anti-American, while Carson is racist and far right wing, and both of them use stereotypes and very clearly believe themselves to be above their partners. Characters like that I just can’t connect with.
Aside from the characters, I didn’t like the plot all that much either. I expected it to be a heart-warming, family reunion road trip. There was a road trip and a family reunion but it really missed the heart-warming mark. That wasn’t what it was going for at all but was what I wanted from it. I know that isn’t fair, which is why I didn’t dock a further star for that.
The stars were deducted not only because of the characters, but also the pacing. The beginning wasn’t so much action-packed but it was interesting and engaging. The middle and end really suffered with the pacing. In fact, I put it down for about a week and didn’t give it a thought, and that was because in parts it was just so damn boring.
The resolution (I won’t spoil whose) was also just too late and unconvincing, no matter how much backstory was packed into that one chapter. So that meant that the whole book for me was just kind of pointless for me to read because it made all of the events leading up to the end redundant.
The remaining half star was, if I’m being honest, down to the last paragraph. That last metaphor gave me more of a punch than the entire book. I keep thinking about how perfect it was and I only wish I could have connected with and found the beauty in the rest of the book that I found in that snippet.
Not for me! 🙂
Nice cover though, am I right?
Have you read Under the Same Stars? I’d love to know what you thought of it!