This is a fairly typical kind of novel with an interesting conceit. The set up of the novel is that we have a young caretaker working in the house of a woman with traumatic brain injury. The title of the novel comes from the occasional verbal tics of the disabled woman.
But the novel is not centered on her relationship with this woman, who is constantly presented as a kind of foregone conclusion. She’s incredibly mentally and physically damaged by the injury, a car wreck, and will not recover. It’s mentioned a handful of times how her symptoms mirror those of late stage Alzheimer’s. Instead, the novel primarily focuses on the world-weary husband, a very handsome man about 60 who becomes the fascination of the narrator. The narrator is a woman in her 20s, in a relationship with a woman her age, but because she spends most of her time at this house with this disabled woman and her husband, she begins to think a lot about her relationship with this man.
I do think the novel is limited in a lot of ways. It screams first novel in its scope and its voice (and especially content seemingly harvested from the personal experiences of the author). This means a lot of things, but mostly it’s clarifying.
What works about this novel is that this is a novel about feelings, and the exploration of those feelings. It’s not about actions, luckily. If this were a novel of actions I think it would fail. Instead, the feelings are interesting and revealing.