by Bonnie Garmus
Wow, wow, wow! This was probably my favorite book of the year so far. It’s almost hard to review it because there’s so much I want to say. And it also feels like much has already been said about this book in tons of rave reviews. But here’s my take on it.
The character development is extraordinary. Some of the best I’ve ever seen. The characters are so complex and nuanced, and you are completely immersed in their heads, minds, and hearts. The protagonist Elizabeth Zott is a unique, quirky, intelligent, brave, resilient, and trailblazing woman who refuses to accept society’s unfair, prejudiced, and close minded views. And for that, as a reader, we love her. But we also watch her pay a price. And that price is one that women and other marginalized individuals of society continue to pay even today. In fact, that is one thing that struck me so strongly when I read this book. Many of the issues that the character is dealing with back in the 1960s are still completely in existence today. So in that sense, even though this is historical fiction, it’s also an exercise in contemporary issues.
It’s written in third person omniscient and very cleverly done. It is a bit quirky, even in the way it is written, but I loved it. I’ve heard that some readers found it off putting that one of the points of view is that of Elizabeth’s dog, named 6:30. I absolutely loved it, and thought it was brilliant. It gave us a unique perspective into the behavior of the humans that orbited the story.
Bravo! I cannot wait to see the TV/film adaptation of this.