Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Griselda Takes Flight - Joyce Magnin

At first, I thought this book set in the fictional town of Bright's Pond was exceptionally cute and had a good grasp on small rural life.  The characters had small town names (Zeb, Studebaker, Griselda, Gilda, Stella, Agnes, etc.) and the word-isms were hilarious.  This was definitely a study in small town culture.  I laughed many times at the author's sense of humor. 
The premis of the book is that Griselda has been newly freed from the constant care of her obese sister, Agnes, because Agnes recently checked herself into a nursing home.  Now Griselda has an opportunity for the first time in a long time to live life willy-nilly.  She takes an interest in flying.  We get to hear a little about her minimal love life.  On a separate line, some supporting characters, Stella and Nate, are growing a ginormous pumpkin which they have named Bertha Ann.  Bertha Ann will be their submission to the state fair competition.  The book follows their journey and we learn a mild bit of info about pumpkin growing.  The only actual plot I could detect was that Stella's estranged brother, Walter, has come to town seeking a buried treasure and ends up in a coma.  His supposed fiancee is in town, and something seems fishy.  It's a good start, but is really not the focus of the book. 
Overall it was like reading a journal.  The entire book was written from one person's perspective (Griselda's) and written in first person.  It has no sustainable plot and reading it was like moseying through life one day at a time.  I am officially deeming this book a snoozer. 
It didn't work for me, but it may be good for a reader who wishes to relax in a Steel Magnolias kind of way.

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