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Il Dolce Sollievo Della Scomparsa (2000)

Il dolce sollievo della scomparsa (2000)

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2.96 of 5 Votes: 4
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8896538319 (ISBN13: 9788896538319)
66th and 2nd

About book Il Dolce Sollievo Della Scomparsa (2000)

The title and description drew me towards this debut novel but promise something other than that which is delivered by the author. Expecting a thriller, instead Ms. Braunstein offers a psychological rumination on what it means to be missed or missing in America. There is the wrap-around story of the twelve year old Leonora as we witness her final moments before her disappearance. This is interspersed throughout a multi-generational saga of young Americans searching...for escape, for peace, for heaven only knows.A plethora of characters is introduced in a pattern maintained fairly consistently throughout: a pair of new characters appears, alternates with another pair of characters chapter by chapter. Then another part of the book starts with two more sets of alternating characters. Eventually, the reader puts together that there are multiple generations at play here. However, the time period is never defined in any of the settings until the very end when a post-9/11 reference is made. Ultimately, we are tossed back and forth through three generations of characters with tenuous relationships to each other, only serving to confuse the reader.And to what end? The effect of the novel's structure leads one to realize it as a gimmick, as if the author were unsure of the strength of the narrative itself and found it necessary to apply this artificial layer in an attempt at adding depth where none needed to be added. Ms. Braunstein's writing is reminiscent, at times, of Don DeLillo, in that sometimes what is not said offers more meaning than that which is said; the quiet spaces, the pauses, these are the blocks with which a life is molded.The missing children of the title is a clever entendre that works; besides the missing Leonora, we have children missing their parents who are either physically or emotionally absent from their lives. Adolescents missing themselves, pondering the futility of their futures in small, upstate New York towns. We have a man who doesn't really know anything about his pre-teen daughter.There's a great story in here somewhere, told with some poignant language, especially towards the end of the novel when a character rationalizes his confession. However, the ever-shifting chronological setting served to distract this reader. Perhaps future works from this author will realize the full potential on display in limited doses here. Over it. Got half-way thorough and quit. I am listening to it on audio and hate the narrator's voice. It's all breathy and dramatic sounding. Couldn't stand it and occasionally found it quite distracting.As for the book itself, I found it to be too disconnected. As soon as I found myself becoming interested in a character or story line, the chapter changed to another equally strand story line. I just couldn't get into it and I rarely quit a book before the end.

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Awful, no plot, worst book ever. What a waste of time.

this was a pretty disappointing book... not recommended

Well-written, but depressing and un-interesting.

Maine Women Write 2011-2012

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