Saturday, September 02, 2006

85. "The Thin Place" ~ Kathryn Davis

On the back cover of this book, someone states, "Davis, God bless her, assumes her readers are intelligent people who are interested in what they are reading."

What an easy way to make this reader feel inferior.

The Thin Place begins with three girls who seem to stumble upon a murder scene. While two of them run for help, the third, Mees, saves the man from imminent death by laying her hands on him.

But this isn't the plot of the book.

In fact, this is a perfect example of a character-driven novel. Told through the point of view of dozens of characters, including dogs, a beaver, God, Jesus, and the town (Varennes), it is more like a portrait in a life drawing class.

With pop-ups from mythology to religion to biology, one must be well-read -- or familiar with Google -- to understand Davis's references. But when I did get the joke, I laughed out loud. When I didn't, I felt like the author's pretentiousness dragged one away from the story. Of course, that may just be my own issues.

I'd like to find out what it's like to teach this book in a literature class. I can almost hear my students groaning already.

4.0 out of 5.0 Maiden's Prayers.

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