Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Hilda and Pearl - Alice Mattison

Title: Hilda and Pearl
Author: Alice Mattison
Country: America
Year: 1995
Rating: C
Pages: 293 pgs.

First sentence: Hilda said she'd take the plums back to the cottage with her, because if she left them at the lake no one would remember to bring them.

Hilda and Pearl begins from the viewpoint of Frances, an only child living in the McCarthy-era New York. However, much of the story consists of flashbacks of the friendship that evolved between her mother, Hilda, and her aunt Pearl, and the secrets and tragedies hidden in that friendship.

The basic premise of this book is one that I usually like, especially the relationship between the two women. I always love settings that take place in the 30's and 40's, as it is a period of time that fascinates me. Ultimately, however, this book was disappointing. I felt much of the writing was telling me what was happening, rather than describing it. The only word I can think of to describe the book is flat, from the second I finished the book I have struggled with my overall disinterest in how to write a review.

I have one of Alice Mattison's other books, The Book Borrower, on my bookshelf, but I don't know if I want to give her a second chance. Has anyone read The Book Borrower? What did you think?


Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Umm, let me put it to you this way: I haven't read this book after reading The Book Borrower 'cause I wanted to hear what others thought of it first...

The Book Borrower had a great premise but I didn't think it delivered on that. I hate being let down like that. :(

If you want more concrete details, drop me an e-mail.

Nyssaneala said...

@susan - Sounds like we have similar complaints about her books. That does not bode well for delving into another one of her books!