Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Red Hook Road - Ayelet Waldman

Red Hook Road: A Novel
Red Hook Road
By Ayelet Waldman

From the first page of this book all the way through the last chapter, I knew how I was planning on starting this review:

"If I had to summarize this book in one word it would be 'lovely.'"

However, upon reading the "coda" and closing the book, the only thing I had left was a sigh. I could not have guessed how much I truly connected with this story. The writing is, throughout the entire book, lovely. The story is heartbreaking over and over but most of it isn't heartbreaking in a huge event way, it is more like it slowly chips away at your heart throughout the story and yet at the end you are miraculously still left feeling whole.

The book begins with a massive tragedy that leaves two families trying to rebuild and repeatedly fighting the connections they have to each other. The most divine moments come when Waldman details activities they take part in. Building a sailboat and playing music can be described so simply but they come to life in a way that makes them relatable in so many ways.

I wanted to step into the little Maine town and become a part of the story even with all the tragedy they experienced. The characters were so real. I felt their pain and sadness so fully that the bittersweetness of the end was even sweeter. Truly an incredible book.

**Source: ARC for review from publisher


nat @book, line, and sinker said...

i read this one last summer and really enjoyed it, too. i felt that waldman's prose really was gorgeous. after my review, i read somewhere that the author based this book on an actual event (the tragedy). i never followed up to see if it was true but it seems plausible. glad you liked this one--nice way to start the new year. :)

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

The reviews have been so good (love yours) and yet I am not sure why I have not read this one yet??

Jenny said...

I'm planning to read one book each by Waldman and her husband Michael Chabon this year. I have heard so many good things about them both! And I think Red Hook Road's going to be my Waldman selection.