Saturday, January 14, 2012

Day for Night

by Frederick Reiken, 323 pages

A manatee-watching detour starts off this novel of connections and takes the reader from one voice to the next, from Florida to Utah, California to New York, Poland to Israel, World War II to the 1990s, laying out linked personal narratives one by one to little-by-little reveal a larger shared story.

A patron recommended this engaging, by-snippets tale of slowly-unraveling family history, memory, and coincidence. It does require some suspension of disbelief, as the coincidences are (intentionally) many. I think the cult element and Goldman's character feel a little too convenient and insufficiently explored, and there's not enough differentiation between the diverse voices (with the possible exception of addled but endearing Timmy). But fans of Jonathan Safran Foer's Everything Is Illuminated will nevertheless find much here to ponder and appreciate.

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