By Nicole Krauss
W.W. Norton & Co., 2010. 289 pgs. Fiction
A huge desk with an array of drawers and a powerful presence plays a central role in the stories of a writer, a father, a student, and a son. Each of these seemingly disconnected individuals takes turns narrating in a somewhat confessional style and the desk becomes a representation of their losses and disappointments.
I am a huge fan of Krauss’ A History of Love and was very excited for this new novel’s release. However, while I am very impressed by this author’s ability to weave an intricate story filled with honest emotions and deep truths about human nature, I didn’t feel connected to the characters or experience that wonderful moment of illumination that I did with History. This is a dense read with absolutely no dialogue and paragraphs that can go for pages. Beautiful prose make it worth picking up, but be prepared to work your way through its pages. Certainly not a quick or light read.