Friday, June 11, 2010

Thumbs up for 'Hand'

I was delighted to happen upon "The Hand that First Held Mine" by Maggie O'Farrell. I loved,loved,loved her "The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox."

I wasn't quite as captivated by these characters, but "Hand" still delivers.

O'Farrell tells two seemingly different tales, alternating between Lexie Sinclair and her struggles to make her way in the world on her own terms and new mom Elina and her partner Ted and their struggles to cope with parenthood.

Are these two stories connected? Of course. But not in the ways you first might think. O'Farrell is masterful at hinting at what lies beneath the surface.

Here we wonder how much can we trust our memory? Isn't there a reason the mind blocks certain events?

Again, O'Farrell mines the depths of human relationships and the many ways we justify our actions for our own survival.

- Tricia Ambrose


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