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Mislaid by Nell Zink


by Nell Zink

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295638,041 (3.32)11



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I found it quite bizarre in the beginning. Having purchased it because it was billed as being hilariously funny, I was immensely disappointed to not even crack a smile for about 60% of the book. But the last 40% caught me. I still heard no laughter, but I did enjoy it. I'm also glad I read it, which is worth a star by itdself. ( )
  kaulsu | Apr 19, 2017 |
I had just read about this on Charlotte's thread, and then I went to the library and what should be staring out at me from the new editions shelf?! Serendipity, I cried, as I snagged it. And what a lovely find it was! I read it in just two sittings. It is irreverent and witty, and I thought finally an American fairy tale that encompasses all of the bizarre, inconsistent and incongruous voices of a country whose doctrine declares equality for everyone but has yet to deliver its promise. It reminded me of those old screwball comedies (think Cary Grant) that had the clever dialogue and the plot that was always spinning slightly out of control, only without the censors to say, "Wait a minute, you can't do that. You can't say that." Completely and totally engaging, it will pull you into its pages and not release you until you have read every last word. Highly recommended.

"Because people never grow accustomed to lies. They either believe them or they don't. And a big lie is never forgiven. The person who told the lie stops existing, and in his place stands a paradox: the truthful liar. The person you know for sure would lie to you, because he's done it before and confessed. You never, ever believe that person again." ( )
1 vote Crazymamie | May 12, 2016 |
The NYT review said "...Zink's narrator is a knowing, omniscient figure who speaks directly to the reader while floating anonymously above the story, offering sharp observations and mordant commentary..."

It was a fast read. At first I couldn't put it down, but by the middle, the ever more bizarre plot twists and the plethora of characters overwhelmed this slight book.I didn't stop to savor the narrator's dry wit but found myself skimming to get to the end and see how it all turns out. The ending was a let-down.
  seschanfield | Mar 7, 2016 |
Peggy, a lesbian, marries Lee, a gay man. Together they have 2 children and a truckload of discontent. Fed up, Peggy takes their daughter and goes into hiding as an African American woman and her African-American child.

Things I liked:
great, quick moving plot. some of my favorite scenes were with Byrdie (the son) at college and with Temple (Karen's friend) in general.
interesting characters - it was fascinating to see Peggy/Meg's daughter Mirielle/Karen grow up while being totally left in the dark about her history; Lee was a total toolbox but I loved to hate him.

Things I disliked:
I keep seeing reviews talking about how this book made such tremendous statements about white privilege, but I didn't see it.
The ending seemed a little off-kilter to me. Byrdie forgiving his mother with such ease seemed too easy and kind of out of character. ( )
  cyrenitis | Dec 2, 2015 |
I loved the quirky wittiness of this book and the way gender, race, and legal lines were stretched and blurred. Anyone who has contemplated running away from prescribed roles, even if it is only in one's head, will find something in this book. ( )
  St.CroixSue | Oct 27, 2015 |
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