Thursday, July 13, 2017

Mislaid by Nell Zink

MislaidMislaid by Nell Zink
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I heard about Mislaid on Bookriot's All the Books! podcast. For the record, I would literally read anything Liberty and Rebecca recommend because I just adore both of them.

This novel takes place in Virginia in 1966. Butch teen Peggy and the flamboyantly gay Lee get married. After years of misery and borderline abuse, Peggy flees with their three year old daughter, leaving Lee to raise their nine year old son. Peggy goes into hiding, worried that Lee will have her arrested, or worse: committed. In order to fly under the radar, Peggy disguises her and her daughter as African American.

I think the biggest mistake I made with this book was to listen to it on audio. I wasn't a huge fan of the narrator, but more importantly I felt like this is just not the kind of book that lends itself well to audio. I felt as though I was missing some of the snark and humor that Zink has woven into her writing. Maybe in a few years I will give this a read on paper, but it will need to be a while. This novel is weird and explores the spectrum of sexuality and gender norms and race, but in the way that I wasn't always super comfortable with. I had to pause at some moments to decide if something offended me. I think that is the point of this novel, but it is not something that I feel I will be open to reabsorbing for a while.

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