Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Hunchback of Neiman Marcus

If you are looking for a quick read, this is your book. I finished this baby in just around six hours and you too, can be a rock star.

Celebrated YA novelist Sonya Sones makes a HUGE splash with her first adult novel, The Hunchback of Neiman Marcus, spinning a funny, fierce, and piercingly honest coming-of-middle-age story about falling apart and putting yourself back together. Nora Ephron’s I Feel Bad About My Neck meets Elizabeth Berg—boldly original and endlessly enthralling—in Sones’s unique creation of seamless narrative written in free verse. The Hunchback of Neiman Marcus is a luminous, brilliantly told story of life, marriage, and parenthood that you will not soon forget.

Now, had I not read that description, I would not have known Sonya Sones is a YA novelist. I would have to say, for this being my first book by her, she made the jump from YA easily.

What's also interesting is that this book is not like a regular novel, it's not written in chapter form. It's a series of poems. Yes, poems. No, it's not boring or annoying. It makes it a fast read, so for those of you who are slow readers or don't like reading the same book for awhile, please check this book out.

Basically the book is about Holly, her husband, and her daughter who is about to go off to college. Holly is a writer, her husband an artist, and her daughter is a good kid with lots to look forward to in her future. Holly is also experiencing the very beginnings of menopause, writer's block, facing empty-next syndrome, worried about having to live with her husband without the daughter as a constant topic and/or companion and oh yeah- her mother (who lives far away) is having lots of health issues. It's funny, it's honest, it reads like it's a real life diary of someone you know. Maybe it's you.

"The good news is that he'll probably
be able to alleviate her pain
and maybe even reverse her symptoms

if he gives her
enough steroids
to kill an elephant.

The bad news is that taking
such megadoses of steroids might cause
my mother to experience "roid rage"."

And that's exactly how it's written. It's fast, it's to the point, but it paints a picture that most novelists take pages to describe. More people would be readers, I'm sure, if writers didn't kill us with details that don't matter.

"You are old
if before you head off
on your morning run

you find yourself
tucking your husband's
cell phone number into your pocket

so that the paramedics
will know
who to call."

I think a lot of us can relate to that! And this one? Made me think of my Weightloss Monday groupies:

To the one-pound bag of oreos I just bought:

It's so sad
to think

that just moments
from now

will be gone

and I'll
be a cow.

You get the picture. The book is funny and I feel like a lot of women especially can and will relate. AND, if you have already been through your kids leaving home then you will enjoy this, because it showcases what it's like for mothers during the senior year of high school when the day of doom is looming. It's a great read to bring on a plane, to the beach, to the park, wherever because you'll probably finish it in just a few hours. Promise.

In the meantime, see what other people said about this book HERE, check out Sonya's website HERE, or her Facebook page HERE.


Jo-Anne's Ramblings said...

Cool have made a note of the book and might see if I can find it....,.sounds interesting

Sonya said...

Hi Sara,
Thanks so much for the lovely review of my book. It was a delight seeing my work reflected back to me through your smart and funny eyes! You've got a lot of voice!

Anonymous said...

I've never read a novel in verse but this one sounds like it would be really entertaining!

Thanks for being on the tour.