Sunday, July 7, 2013

Book Club: May the Road Rise Up to Meet You

Man, I hate feeling left out! So you can imagine how bummed I was when I just couldn't get into May the Road Rise Up to Meet You by Peter Troy, while in the meantime almost every other single person in my book club was talking about how good it was. I'll share my minority opinions with you here.

Of course it was the title that first caught my eye. My family is Irish to the core and the phrase "may the road rise up to meet you" is part of an old Irish blessing that we included in our wedding ceremony (don't worry, we threw in some English stuff for Stew, too).

Alas, the book did not turn out to be nearly as exciting as our first day of wedded bliss (although to be fair, that one included Jameson whiskey, which may also have improved this novel).

The book takes place during the American Civil War and tells the story of four very different characters whose lives are eventually and inevitably intertwined to create (supposedly) the quintessential American experience.

Due (I'm sure) in large part to my personal heritage, I did enjoy the beginning section about Ethan and his endurance of the Irish Potato Famine and subsequent immigration to America. But Marcella, a spunky society girl who arrives from Spain and turns into a devoted abolitionist, did not really interest me. And the worst were slaves Mary and Micah; although their characters might have been the most interesting, I always found myself extremely distracted and bored while reading their stories, which were written in strong, thick accents. Deciphering their dialog was sometimes worse than reading a high school physics textbook.

Anyway, the gist of it is that the war brings all four characters together and it ultimately changes the course of all their lives. Sounds interesting, right? That's what I thought, too...

About a bazillion five-star reviews of this book can be found on Amazon, but I honestly wouldn't give it more than a couple. I wasn't fond of the characters, the "action" didn't grab me, the story seemed contrived and predictable, and I never could get past the cumbersome, colloquial language.

Disappointing; I'd skip it.

3 comments :

  1. Although I really don't read much anymore now that I'm really busy with James- I love love reading book reviews. I'm Irish too so i would probably love that part too.

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  3. Next time you hate the chosen book, you could just do what one of my friends did for our book club last night -- show up to drink wine at the end of the discussion. :)

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