Open Arms, Marina Endicott


I need to start this by saying that it is downright weird not to be reading a million books this month. Pacing myself and taking it easy are not things I associate with Bookstravaganza.

Well, not that I’ve been taking it easy. I’ve just returned from my MA residency in Victoria, and between the group presentations and the day-and-a-half I just spent in the car, I wasn’t really making time for books. Still read this one, though.

Marina Endicott is a treasure. My brain is still fried from the car (seriously, I just got in) and I’m writing this while yelling at my goddamned cat to stop knocking things over, so I won’t go into much detail about why I loved it, but generally I enjoy hella relating to characters and that was that case here. You follow the narrator, Bessie Smith, through a few chapters of her life. It’s all about female relationships and mother/daughter stuff, and all of it is tied together fairly seamlessly.

That seamlessness is also one of the novel’s primary faults – Endicott’s writing is so on point all the time that sometimes the characters seem to lack reality. And the novel’s ending is a bit “hey all this perfect stuff happened perfectly, dope,” and I’m not about that life. I love Endicott enough to give her a pass, though.

Books read: 2 


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