When God was a Rabbit, Mudwoman, and Faith

I’ve been busy reading:

When God Was a Rabbit, by Sarah Winman — Enjoyable enough.  Good beginning, but not held together well enough.  It left me feeling that the best stuff happened off-stage and I didn’t learn anything.

Mudwoman, by Joyce Carol Oates — I had never read anything by her before, although I had heard he books were depressing.  I wouldn’t say this was depressing exactly.  It was, however, an odd premise: Let’s imagine the life of a girl whose mentally ill mother throws her into a muddy swamp and leaves her to die.  Let’s further imagine that the girl does not die, does well in school, and becomes the president of Princeton University.  It was interesting to read.  Not overwhelmingly depressing: kind of numbing, really.  Who can say if this is a valid imagining, a realistic imagining?  I loved the language, I was glad I read the book, but at the end of the story there wasn’t anything that convinced me that the left-in-the-mud-to-die part of the story had much of anything to do with the adult person that resulted.  It didn’t make me want to rush out and read more of what she has written.

Faith, by Jennifer Haigh — Another one of these how-do-you-really-know-a-person books.  This time it’s the brother who became a priest and is accused of molesting a child.  His sister and his brother try to figure out whether he really did.  They each conclude he did not, and we learn what really happened, how, and why.  Well enough written, but not a knockout.  More successful than When God Was a Rabbit (mentioned above), but still not a don’t miss.

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