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ajkuhn

Words, Worlds, Whorls

A place where I write reviews and keep track of what I want to read or have already read.

The Chronology of Water

The Chronology of Water - Lidia Yuknavitch, Chelsea Cain From the first page, I was astounded by the sheer beauty and lyricism in Yuknavitch's style. I thought to myself, 'the last book I read with such gorgeous prose was [b:Sometimes a Great Notion|529626|Sometimes a Great Notion|Ken Kesey|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1348326073s/529626.jpg|1308344].' And sure enough, Yuknavitch had a class with the one and only Ken Kesey. Some people thought her including this information was needless name-dropping, but I must admit I was impressed.The story is painful, and the pain is made all the more obvious because of the poetic use of repetition. Miscarriages, addictions, sexual and physical abuse...it's all in here. There were a few instances where the horrors seemed too unbelievable that I was sure they must be exaggerated if not fabricated, but who am I to judge what is and isn't false? I almost stopped reading at the part where she describes how she head-on collided with a pregnant woman on the freeway. I thought 'this is my breaking point.' But I persevered.Two things bothered me, however. The first - I'm not sure who her copy-editor was but I'm positive a first year college student could do a better job. Some of the repetitions were obviously for poetic effect, but some sentences had words inverted or there was a number where there should have been an apostrophe. The second - for all that it was only 293 pages (at least my copy was, whatever GoodReads might say), the book felt too long. Maybe if I had been able to read it in two sittings instead of five, or maybe if I hadn't been so put off by the bit about the pregnant woman, I would have enjoyed the length just fine. The more I read, the less poetic the writing felt, the more trite it seemed. The more the editing errors jumped out at me. It's not so much that I had to force myself to finish as I had to force myself to finish in a timely manner.Overall, though, this book is definitely a permanent addition to my collection.