Sunday, March 21, 2010

Sweetwater by Roxana Robinson

As the world burns, a woman is unable to help her man.

Skillfully put together. The scenes start small, seemingly inconsequential, then the stakes grow higher, the scenes more harrowing. The novel is about Isobel Green and her two marriages, ok make that three marriages. Three stories intertwine to make up the novel– the destruction of the planet, the sudden realization that Isobel should not have gotten married a second time if she wasn’t going to do it for love, and the interspersed scenes from Isobel’s tragic first marriage. She’s paralyzed then and paralyzed now because there is nothing she can do to fix her first husband’s depression. But she never manages to accept that. The three stories echo each other. There’s a beautiful image at the end, but the scene before the end gets histrionic, a little unbelieveable.

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