Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I Married You For Happiness by Lily Tuck

Nina sits at the bedside of her husband Philip, who has just passed away from a sudden cardiac arrest. Over the course of one night, she holds vigil over his body while remembering some of the key moments of their relationship. This novel, the fifth by Lily Tuck, is a collection of those remembrances, conveyed in short and - in my opinion - disjointed vignettes. Tuck documents everything from Nina and Philip's first meeting in Paris to their final conversation (a throwaway as she prepares his dinner and he goes upstairs for a nap); however, these moments in time are not recorded chronologically but, rather, as they happen to cross Nina's mind during the long night she spends at his side. This jumping around in time, coupled with the sparseness of the language, made the book almost incomprehensible to me. I felt no real connection to the characters or their lives, and without that framework of investment to grab on to it was difficult to care about (or follow) all of their random conversations from over the years. If you are a reader who likes to be gripped by a good story, I wouldn't recommend this book. I could see it being an interesting choice, though, for someone looking for a more experimental format.

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