Monday, June 25, 2012

Glimpse by Carol Lynch Williams

Hope is a twelve-year-old girl who walks in on her fourteen-year-old sister, Liz, holding a gun, and contemplating killing herself. When Lizzie is institutionalize, Momma goes off of the deep end, even more so than when Daddy died. As Hope unravels the mystery as to why Liz would want to kill herself, she realizes that her Momma has secrets that she’ll go to any lengths to keep buried.

The biggest distraction for me while reading this novel was the writing style. I have read Lynch-Williams’ The Chosen One (2009) and marveled at her beautiful, powerful, and poignant descriptive writing that draws the reader into the world of the novel and makes her connect so strongly with characters that she feels what they feel. Which is why this novel was a disappointment. I teach creative writing, and simply because someone can arrange a series of simple sentences into a poetic format does not make it good poetry. Not only that, but this format really took away from the “meat” of the story.

The story is told through Hope’s eyes as she flashes back and tries to remember things about her sister, Liz. Unfortunately, the content of the novel is so sparse that the reader never feels like she gets to know Liz at all. Instead of connecting to Liz like I did Kyra (The Chosen One, 2009), I simply felt sorry for her for having the mother than she did. While I spent days agonizing over the events that happened to Kyra, I closed Glimpse (2010), said to myself, “Man, that mom was really messed up,” and, then, picked up The Perks of Being s Wallflower (1999) to shake off my annoyance.

I like reading books in verse. Some of my favorites are by Ellen Hopkins and Stephanie Hemphill. I also know that it’s becoming the new “fad”in the writing world. Unfortunately, not everyone can execute it well. This book should have been in prose and it would have blown everyone away. Description is Carol Lynch Williams’ strength.

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