Where I share my love of books with reviews, features, giveaways and memes. Family and needlepoint are thrown in from time to time.


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

How Clarissa Burden Learned to Fly by Connie May Fowler (Book Review)

Title: How Clarissa Burden Learned to Fly
Author: Connie May Fowler
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

My synopsis: Clarissa awoke on the summer solstice just as she had every other day for awhile now.  Unsatisfied with her marriage, unable to write, and unaware that these were not entirely her fault.

Her husband, Iggy, was an "artist".  If you consider taking pictures and video of nude women art, which Clarissa did not - not anymore.  As it didn't bring in much money, it was Clarissa's writing that supported them both.

They - or really she - had bought a lovely old house in Northern Florida.  At the time, she did not know it's tragic history, or that a family of ghosts were still trapped there - just awaiting the time when the big old oak in the backyard would die and release them.

Olga Villada, the mother ghost, tried to influence Clarissa, ever so gently, to read the dossier on the house - hoping that someday Clarissa would write their story.

Over the course of 24 hours, through various run-ins with her husband, run-ins with ghosts, run-ins with strangers while driving her junk heap of a truck, Clarissa begins to gain some confidence.  She slowly begins to take a long hard look at the state of her marriage.

Before the day is over, as her marriage dies, as the tree dies, will it also be the death of her?

My thoughts: At first I was frustrated because there were not any traditional chapters in this book (I am a big chapter person.)  But then, as I realized that the book covered one day - it would not have read the same if there had been "breaks" along the way.  It really needed to flow along.

It was entertaining the way the narrator included things about the insects and what they were doing in relation to Clarissa throughout the book. It will make me look at flies differently in the future.l

I could feel the change in the story as the day went on.  It was almost as if you could feel Clarissa's courage expanding - like the hot air of the day was expanding.  Even when didn't quite know what was happening.

I cried with her and cheered with her along the way - not knowing how it was all going to end - but hoping for the best.  Iggy was perfect as the husband/man that you love to hate.  I don't think he gave me any reason throughout the book to even consider liking him!

Highly recommended.  Read it as close to one sitting as you can.

~I was provided a copy of this book from Hachette Books for my review.~

How Clarissa Burden Learned to Fly
Publisher/Publication Date: Grand Central Publishing, Apr 2, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-446-54068-1
288 pages



Connie May Fowler said...

Kristi! Thank you so much for your wonderful review of How Clarissa Burden Learned to Fly! I so appreciate the thought and effort you put into it. And I can't thank you enough for spreading the news! I love your blog! All the best, Connie, www.conniemayfowler.com

bermudaonion said...

I can't remember the last time I read a book with no chapters, but you've made me want to dig right into this one. Great review!

Unknown said...

This book sounds unusual, both in format and the author's style. You made it sound really great, too. I'll have to look into it!


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