Thursday, September 9, 2010

Review: Pieta

I am not generally one who thinks that books should be longer. Sometimes I'm sorry when the experience of reading a particularly good book is over, but I rarely think that they would benefit by being longer. This book, however, really could be longer. In a scant 120 pages it deals with some pretty weighty themes, including death, divorce, child abuse, and the place of art in the individual's life.

Jim Priest, his daughter, and his dying mother spend her final days in the family home. In the process they recount the past: a past in which Jim cowered to avoid his father's abuse while desperately seeking parental attention.

This is heavy material, but the reader only gets snippets, never the full story. Throughout my reading I constantly wanted more explanation. I felt like I never really got inside the heads of any of the characters. The book is rather dialogue-heavy, and I found I preferred Jim's narration, rather than his dialogue. I generally found the dialogue less fulfilling, especially that between Jim and his daughter. The idea for the book has a lot of promise, but I finished my reading wanting to know more about Jim's childhood and the Pieta.

William Zink, Pieta (Sugar Loaf, 2010) ISBN: 0970070241

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