Friday, May 09, 2008
Remembering Raquel, by Vivian Vande Velde
After Raquel is struck by a car and dies, various people (friends, schoolmates, teachers, family, etc.) gather for her memorial and share their thoughts -- not aloud, but rather to themselves. And, in each short chapter, those inner thoughts are given voice, creating an image of the world that Raquel lived in.
The concept is a good one, but never quite pans out for me in this novel. Some of the chapters are poignant and meaningful (even revealing) but most are stereotypes (shallow popular girl, geeky nerd, etc.) and some are even trite. The resulting work seems disconnected and random (with both good and bad parts). An overall miss.