Monday, May 31, 2010

Florida by Christine Schutt

Unstable Alice abandons her sensitive daughter Alice

I really liked this. A series of precise painful images, one after the other telling the story of a girl, growing older, who is abandoned, first by her father and his mysterious drowning, and then by her drink addled mother.  The mother spends her time lying on her Wisconsin lawn in a foil lined box called “Florida”.  Huge chunks of this book are very funny. The girl resorts to getting love from her uncle’s chauffeur, from her mute grandma, from an English teacher. Though she doesn’t really. Nothing in this book is spelled out, and there is nothing extraneous, but everything is there. The daughter eventually abandons the mother in a nursing home.

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