Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Review: Tuesday Tells It Slant by Holly Christine

Who among us doesn't have a moment or two in our past that we wish we could change? Perhaps a moment where we were unnecessarily unkind or made the wrong choice. Or perhaps a time when we were bullied or overlooked. Short of a movie like Groundhog Day though, this is completely unrealistic. But what if you could take an old diary and re-write your life, re-write it to the point that it changes your current life? If your past experiences are suddenly different, how are you a different person in the present?

Tuesday Tells It Slant takes this very premise. Tuesday Morning is a book reviewer for an up and coming literary magazine when her boss has finally had it with her inability to come to work on time. Unemployed and barely hanging on emotionally, she manages to find a job at a local bookstore where she unexpectedly bumps into childhood friend and former boyfriend, Billy. With Billy's re-appearance in Tuesday's life, her forgotten and discarded past is about to have a shocking meeting with her present.

Told through a series of flashbacks, old (and newly created) diary entries, and scenes from the present, the reader is taken along as Tuesday orchestrates the past she wants to have lived, perhaps losing the person she was meant to be in the present. Besides Billy, other characters spiral through Tuesday's narration (the whole story is from her point of view): her twin sister Monday, her best frenemy Katie, and her parents Mitch and Miranda. Several of Emily Dickinson's poems are also used in the novel, both to explain Tuesday's inspiration and to foreshadow the coming revelations.

Unfortunately, the narrative time jumps, although prefaced by dates, were terribly confusing to me as a reader. I suspect that this is because there seem to be three or four main times to keep straight and a couple of them are not so far removed in time as to be immediately and obviously different from each other. I kept having to check back to see when it was in time that I was reading about. Also, it takes a fairly long while before it becomes obvious which of Tuesday's diary entries are original and which are rewrites (and perhaps I never did get them straight). I suspect that Christine was trying to play around with non-traditional narrative structure but it ended up being too jumbled to easily follow.

The characters, aside from Tuesday, were lightly sketched so their portrayals really only explained more of who Tuesday was than them being full characters in their own rights. And somehow I expected the re-writing of the past to be very different than it was, perhaps wanting more a touch of magical realism than the pragmatic explanation given. Although, when the reason for Tuesday's desire to rewrite the past is finally made clear, I certainly had more sympathy for the lengths to which she went to truly believe in her created past. Over all, while the book had an intriguing premise, in the end it didn't work for me. For alternative views, check out some of the amazon reviewers who connected to this better than I did.

Thanks to Amanda at InkWell Management for sending me a review copy of this book.

5 comments:

  1. This is an intriguing premise. I would LOVE to edit parts of my past.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I had such high hopes for this one. :( I certainly wouldn't mind being allowed to edit my life mistakes.

    ReplyDelete
  3. this one sounded fun--twins named monday and tuesday? :) i sometimes have a spot of trouble with the magical realism genre so i tend to shy away from books like these, but i appreciate your honest review and the way you offer a link to other opinions.

    --nat @book, line, and sinker

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'd seen this one around blogland but it's the first review I've read. I enjoyed your honest review, thanks for sharing :-)

    ReplyDelete

I have had to disable the anonymous comment option to cut down on the spam and I apologize to those of you for whom this makes commenting a chore. I hope you'll still opt to leave me your thoughts. I love to hear what you think, especially so I know I'm not just whistling into the wind here at my computer.

Popular Posts