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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

On Account of Conspicuous

Shamp, Dawn. On Account of Conspicuous Women.

I was all over the place about this book. Loved the title, loved the cover. Read the first chapter and put it down, fully expecting never to pick it up again. Ran out of books, began again. Persisted, and found myself liking the characters after several chapters. Read rapidly and happily until the end, which was disappointingly bland.

The language is full of wonderful idiomatic speech, but so overdone (especially in the beginning) as to become annoying.

For: eventually, some interesting characters; the author has an ear for language; great title; interesting time period; good small town and historic detail; great cover. :)

Against: takes too long to get to the meat of either the characters or the plot; the language is forced--too many too clever sayings, idioms, dialect, and phrases; plots of the different characters never seemed to coalesce in a satisfactory manner; conclusion disappointing and predictable in a bad way.

Bertie completely turned me off in the first chapter, but later, I came to like her a great deal. Actually this was true of Ina, as well, although I kind of liked Doodle and Guerine from the beginning. All of the stories and characterizations kind of dissipated toward the end, though. And the turkey thing should most definitely have been omitted.

Maybe a good editor would have helped produce a better novel. On the other hand, there were parts of the book that I really enjoyed.

Fiction. 2008. 304 pages.


  1. It sounds like this book was a real mixed bag. At least you found some good in it. :-)

  2. I remember seeing this one at my library one day and being really attracted to it - that cover is great. I may check it out still one of these days but I'll keep those expectations in check :)

  3. iliana - The book (in my opinion) was flawed, but I'm glad I read it! The author has a unique voice, even if I wish it were more...synthesized.