Saturday, March 1, 2014

"That Part Was True," by Deborah McKinlay

Some of the ingredients of the novel “That Part Was True” (Grand Central Publishing, 2014), by Deborah McKinlay, are awfully familiar. It is epistolary: an American writer, Jackson Cooper, and a British fan, Eve Petworth, carry on a correspondence across the ocean. They each find solace in the correspondence and their growing knowledge of each other’s lives. They also share a love of food and cooking, and they exchange recipes, often those with sentimental associations such as “my grandmother’s recipe for…”. (Novels with food themes are popular these days.) A positive point is that the characters are “grown-ups,” in their forties. Between them they have various issues with family members, significant others, illness, anxiety, writer’s block, and more. There is some desultory discussion of their possibly meeting in Paris, with a hint of mystery about whether their epistolary friendship could turn into romance; I won’t reveal whether the meeting or the romance happen. The novel has a somewhat ambiguous surprise ending. This slim novel, as I have indicated, draws a little too heavily on some rather tired topics and approaches; nevertheless, it is written with a light touch, and is an enjoyable, not too taxing read.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Site Meter