Author: Claire-Louise Bennett
Genre: Literary fiction
Release date: 7-11-2016
I received an advanced copy of Pond from First to Read in exchange for an honest review. Before I begin, I need to state that this is an opinion piece. Many have read and adored this book. I was not one of them.
It was lauded as being beautiful and whimsical, a magical look into a woman’s psyche. I also heard it referred to as a series of short stories, and once as a fragmented novel. I tend to think of it as a diary. She-who-will-not-be-named seems to tell me (her journal, confessor, friend or inner voice) all her thoughts without regard for keeping things in order or giving descriptions of people. No one is named, which is the author’s choice. This did make it hard for me to make a connection to the narrator or any other character. There is a Landlady, a Landlady’s sister, several Hims (two may be the same, one is married to Her-not the narrator). There are a couple Friends. It was just hard to feel part of that world.
That said, I can tell you how many bowls of fruit sit on the stone window sill. I can describe what the old paint in her cottage looked like, and I can tell you about the stove that only has one knob. She goes over all of this at length and yet will not give her age. I know that she is old enough to drink, has dropped out of university, and that her father has a new family with a kid. I suppose this places her mid-twenties to forties.
Every once in a while there is a bit of fancy, like when she imagines the monster from the pond, that intrigues me and makes me continue on. I want to see more of Her. I could form an emotional attachment to this odd, fanciful woman perhaps. But then she moves on to some other topic or fancy, the feeling shattered. For every literary gem there are pieces that I hated. There was a simile where she likened the sound of the rain outside to her vagina. I had to read that five times to be sure I had it right. Perhaps I am just too dim for this book; but at that moment all I could think was: seek medical attention. Little things like that would tear me from the story, though I must say it wasn’t hard. I honestly thought this one would be a DNF.
Again, this is my opinion. Lots of people on Goodreads are raving about this book and its brilliance. It simply wasn’t my cup of tea. I will say that the blurb sounded amazing though, and that the person who came up with that needs a bonus. I encourage you to go read the blurb, if it sounds like something you are interested in go for it. Let me know what you think!
Adult Content: It was all so very vague that I don’t feel like there was really anything to speak of.
Link to book: