I rarely (or ever?) begin a book review post this way, but here goes:
The more I read this book the less enthusiastic I became.
Just to be clear, I was extremely enthusiastic about the book when I began. The writing is beautiful, the perspective of the young boy growing up in New England with a mentally ill sister is riveting. The word “refreshing” comes to mind. The descriptions of nature and the town are lovely too.
However, as the book progresses (it’s 405 pages long) it becomes more and more predictable. Once again there is that classic American pattern of running away from all your problems, embarking on a road trip (preferably cross-country), without money and at the mercy of strangers, and emerging as a new person.
If it only it were just that. I have enjoyed all kinds of “road trip” books/movies (the one about the old man who made the trip on a lawnmower would be my first example). But the main character becomes less believable as the book wears on. Not to mention some other things.
The tale simply becomes repetitive. It’s an awfully long journey when you are crossing the United States on a bicycle…
And the ending was so predictable.
I’m not sorry I read it.
But the disparity between the first part and the rest of the book disappointed me.