I bet this one is pretty divisive in general (this novel I mean…my review is right in line with one-half of the divisiveness). So significant trigger warning for this novel…it starts with what can only be assumed is a violent sexual assault.
The novel is written from an incredibly claustrophobic space where the observations, impressions, connections, and images that haunt the narrator’s (Peach’s) mind following the traumatic sexual assault she experiences in the woods by her house one day. The novel follows her in the immediate and not so immediate aftermath as her inability to connect with and explain and put language to her trauma begin to form a more clear picture of what happened to her.
So my issue with the novel, other than it feeling like a weird, fraught, and tangentially connected images is that it neither feels like it knows what it’s doing, what it wants to do, and even comes off as weirdly cynical and bizarre treatment of the experience. It’s not trite or anything, and while it’s definitely overwrought, it’s also just not really a novel.
Instead, this is a piece. A vignette, maybe a novella, but it’s not a novel, and it’s not a fully formed whatever else it is at that. I think the writer has more to write either on this specific story or connected ones, and those in total might form a book, but as it stands this doesn’t feel like it’s done.
I am reminded of the novella that Lena writes in Elena Ferrante and how she seems unable to even discuss or describe her own writing.