At the request of some of my followers here, on Goodreads, and my Amazon book review followers, it has been suggested that I blog-post some of my book reviews here from time to time. And this is pretty much a test to see if you like to read book reviews here on occasion. I read everything, not just supernatural and mystery. This week I read a library copy of Jane Mendelsohn’s “I Was Amelia Earhart.” This is not a new book (Knopf, 1996, NY Times best seller). I usually write my reviews with honesty, brevity (no long-winded synopses), and focus on substance and pace.
“It’s the last sky,” is one of the opening lines in this fictionalized story of Amelia Earhart and her mysterious disappearance over the Pacific Ocean in 1937. A thought provoking line, as are many in this amazing book by Jane Mendelsohn. I am so glad I read it. Lyrical, insightful, and imaginative; the suspense is rather drifting, much like flying a plane at low altitudes. We are on Earhart’s wings in so many ways as the story unfolds. “Love is so transparent that if you are unprepared for it you will see right through it and not notice it.” So says the ambitious and sometimes cold-hearted Amelia. The essence of this story is not so much about flying or courage or tempting danger, but more about Earhart’s discovering love. Love for life, love for a person, a being without wings. There is much to be admired in this story for its metaphoric aerial and ghostly flights of the heart and mind. Even Earhart’s plane The Electra wore a shining symbolism. What I didn’t like about this novel is the mechanics of the writing. There is a constant mix of points of view, first person vs. third person narration (sometimes within the same paragraph); one chapter of 15 pages had the POV change 10 times from “I” to “she.” Also, there is a mix of present tense vs. past tense, which I found to be jarring. And, the dialogue is presented without quotation marks that just added to the chaotic reading. I suppose this kind of styling might be considered artistic by some, or progressive, or gimmicky, or maybe faulty on the part of the author or editors. For this reader, it became disorienting, annoying, and purposeless.
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