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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Pearl by Jo Knowles

Posted by Irish in Blog Tour4 Comments

Publisher: Henry Holt
Publication Date: 19 July 2011
Series or Standalone: Standalone
ISBN:  0805092072
Format: paperback (ARC)
Pages: 224
Place(s) Traveled to: Unknown
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
First Line: Henry and I get comfortable in our usual Days of our Lives positions on his mother’s scratchy plaid couch in their tiny living room.
Pearl by Jo Knowles is one of those books that I really don’t know what to say about it. Bean, whose real name is Pearl, is the main character of this story and she is struggling to come to grips with the loss of her grandfather who she was really close to. As she deals with her grief she learns that things that she thought she knew about the people around her might not be the truth. It seems that everyone around her now has secrets and she doesn’t know how to deal. Her mom is acting erratically and they’ve never had the best relationship to start so things get even more fractured. Bean’s mother’s annoying best friend never seems to leave and hints at things that happened in the past but never quite tells the tale. Bean’s best friend Henry is dealing with his mother Sally who hasn’t left their house for years and struggles with not knowing what happened to his father.

The book description for Pearl doesn’t say much about the book and there is a good reason for that. Not much happens in the story. The book is very slow and it took me far longer than it should have to read. I just kept hoping for something to happen but nothing ever seemed to. This really disappointed to me because I’ve seen people on Twitter raving about Knowles’s other books. The writing wasn’t bad but it was hard to lose myself in the words when I just found the picture they were painting to be dull and lack luster. I couldn’t seem to bring myself to care about any of the characters in this story. I kept turning the pages in the vain hope that something would happen and before I know it I was at the end and left scratching my head and wondering what I just read.

The main thing that I took away from this novel was the description of the weather. The hot, almost oppressive summer heat. It was something that I could almost feel. Though I don’t think that this is a very positive thing to say about a novel…because really…what author wants the thing that someone remembers about their book to be about the weather. Another thing that I found interesting about Pearl is that there is a timeless quality to it. This is a story that could have taken place today, 10 years from today or in the past…well the not to distant past. Its a book that won’t date itself as the years pass and that is a good thing in an age where technology is moving faster than the speed of light.  In the end though, this book just didn’t do it for me but as I said I thought the writing was solid and so will probably give other books by Jo Knowles a try.

4 Responses to “Pearl by Jo Knowles”

  1. Ashley @ Book Labyrinth

    Hmm, that’s too bad it was so slow paced! I think this is one of the Contemps books, so I’ll probably check it out, but I’m glad to read a review like this so I know what the book is like.

  2. Michelle

    Boo! I’m sad to hear that this one isn’t that great. I was thinking of reading it but now feel like maybe I’ll pass.