Friday, January 04, 2008

Books: Pieces of My Sister's Life

Elizabeth Joy Arnold's Pieces of My Sister's Life was a great book. I think it is sometimes hard to read a book about childhood friends (twin girls and the boy next door) particularly when it is told in first person since you the reader know that your narrator is understandably biased. But it worked well here. There were moments where I read with one eye closed, if you will, because I was dreading the inevitable climactic betrayals. (This is good, I couldn't stop reading, I was just afraid of what would happen.) I also have to say, although I will be a bit vague, it doesn't end in a neatly packaged way, which, again, I liked, because all the neatly packaged ways were going to irritate me.
So, loved it. But, I have to nitpick a bit. (I know.) I understand the challenges when writing a story that takes place over years, especially when technology changes so fast. But - if you are going to put 2007 all over parts of your book (to distinguish from the parts that take place earlier) - then I get to assume that this book takes place now. Therefore, if you wanted to make a phone call that you didn't want the people you were staying with to know about or for them to accidentally pick up the return call, you would use your cell phone. And a twelve year old in 2007 would not have a walkman. Not just because it is old technology, but because there is no place for a twelve year old to find music to play on the Walkman because no one sells tapes any more. And if they live in a special place where stores sell tapes instead of CDs and cell phones don't work - then you have to explain that.
So, other than the technological anachronisms (which really are a teeny portion of the story), it was a great story.