Thursday, October 16, 2014
Review: The Moment of Everything
The Moment of Everything was interesting for me. I went into it with high hopes, having heard good things and liking the premise (and the cover, frankly). A contemporary set in a bookstore, with a wonderfully eccentric cast of characters, and a wry, irreverent tone- sounded like a winner. So what did I think? Well, it was okay. This is a book I thought I would like a lot more than I did. I was actually a little disappointed with it, and had to struggle at times to keep going, especially in the middle.
Maggie DuPres has been laid off from her tech job at a Silicon Valley startup and now spends her days reading romance novels at the Dragonfly used bookstore. She's waiting for the next big thing to come along, but she's not trying too hard. She's actually rather enjoying days at the bookstore. Her friend Dizzy is still plugged in to the corporate scene and talks her into attending a highbrow book club meeting- the idea being for her to mingle and get back in the game. The read- Lady Chatterly's Lover. Everyone is reading the Penguin Classics edition, but Hugo, the owner of the Dragonfly, gives her a battered copy he finds in the store. Maggie starts to read it, but is surprised to find notes written in the margins-love notes from a Henry and Catherine, dating back to 1961.
The longing and emotion she finds in those notes captivates her, and she tries to find out more about them. Maggie posts some of the notes online, and before long the Dragonfly has a surge of new business. Seems that everyone wants t ocome in and share the mystery- but when new love enters Maggie's life she may find truths that ring true for her as well.
Sound wonderful, right? And it is a fine story, well written and smart. It just didn't work for me on several different levels. I thought right from the first chapter that it was a little too self- aware, like it was trying a little too hard- there are long sentences where it's almost as if the author is trying to shoehorn in as many references as possible. I did like the snippets from Henry and catherine, and enjoyed Maggie's insights into her own life and priorities as she contemplated this love affair in words. There are some touching moments, to be sure, and I did laugh at some of the references. I could even relate to Maggie's concerns, and I liked her character, for the most part, and Hugo too- but I didn't like the other characters. Even the cat wasn't very likable, frankly!
The turn that the story takes at the end salvaged it for me a bit- I liked the theme of be who you are, and could relate to Maggie as she had to choose between doing what was perhaps expected of her and who she truly anted to be. I wish I had been as invested in the whole book as I was at the tail end of it. It may just be that I'm not the target audience, or the right person for this one. I would encourage people to try it for yourself if you're interested This one was just not for me.