Friday, July 03, 2015
Love Letters to the Dead, by Ava Dellaira
With allusions everywhere to famous lives lost to depression, misadventure, and bad luck, the tone of this novel is dark and downbeat. It's also literate and sophisticated, as well as beautifully written and poignant. It's precisely the type of book I tend to love. However, it felt too deliberate to me. The poignancy seemed manipulative (like the literary equivalent of heavy strings). Basically, the author wanted me to feel sad, and the rebellious reader in me wanted to resist. That doesn't make it a bad book, but I think it could have been better (maybe tighter and less obvious in its direction?). That said, from the fully-rounded characters to the realistic portrayal of their flaws to the story itself, this is a good read.