Monday, August 8, 2011

Pretty but not much else

Book: Come Together, Fall Apart
Author: Cristina Henriquez
Published: 2006 (Riverhead Books)
Pages: 306
It’s nice.
I wish I had more to say about this book. But really, “nice” is the only word that fits. These short stories and novellas are about relationships between lovers, families and, occasionally, a little bit, about the political upheavals going on around them. They’re all set in Panama, which is the most interesting thing about them and saves them from collapsing under all the symbolic weight placed on such light words. These are the kind of stories that are meant to Mean Something.
I’m talking like I didn’t like them. I did. I thought they were…nice. There’s that word again. They’re floaty and dreamy and don’t leave much behind but they’re nice to read.

A note on the tag “old books:” When I use that, I’m not necessarily talking about books written twenty or more years ago (although there are a fair number of those in my reading pile); I’m talking about books I’ve personally owned (one way or another) for at least nine months and have yet to read because of everything else that distracts me. This book is one of those, a small hardback priced at $2.99 from a warehouse sort of store in my college town that was labeled with a giant banner that just said BOOKS and contained massive amounts of discounted, well, books. I went into that store once or twice, went into spasms of glee, but now they’re closed, so no more from them.

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