Friday, March 12, 2010

Shadow Tag by Louise Erdrich

When Irene America discovers that her husband, Gil, has been reading her diary, she begins a secret Blue Notebook, stashed securely in a safety deposit box.  There she records the truth about her life and her marriages, while turning her Red Diary - into a manipulative farce.  Alternating between these two records, complemented by unflinching third-person narration, Shadow Tag is an  eerily gripping read.  From the minute I read the first page, I was riveted -- similar to how you have to look as you pass a car accident.  This story is so dysfunctional and yet, so raw and honest.  This was a very well written book and I am still reflecting back on it and appreciating it but, I am not recommending it as it is so different that it depends on your taste.  It will stay with you, long after you wish it wouldn't.

Update - Iniitally I rated this lower but, with recent discussions with other book club members, I realized how much I enjoyed this book - both the writing and the warped mindgames as well as the fact that as dysfunctional as it is, you just can't look away.  That is an incredible author who keeps you coming back for more when the book is so messed up  I realize that I tempered my previous rating as, although I loved this book, it may not be for everyone.  I have raised my rating to what I feel this book deserves and will let you do research yourself to see if it is a book that you want to read.

Rating: 4.6 Recommend but disturbing