Thursday, January 8, 2015
I, ANNA by ELSA LEWIN
I, Anna is a difficult book to read and to review. Every character in it is sad or downright depressed, they all have problems in their lives that have them wondering about suicide, and not one of them seems to have any fight left to face those problems. Many times as I read the book I just wanted to slap them and say, "You're not the only one with bad times in your life." Or the Joan Rivers in me would shout, "Oh just grow up already!"
The Anna of the title is a 50 year old blonde divorcee whose ex-husband has married a 32 year old woman. Anna Welles lives with her daughter Emily in a small apartment where she alternately drives her daughter crazy feeling sorry for herself or goes to singles parties where she meets the same group of losers over and over again.
At one of those parties she meets a particularly creepy man named George and goes home with him. He is divorced and living with his son, who knows the routine and promptly goes out to find a place to sleep. Anna smokes pot for the first time in her life and they dance to loud music before having sex. By the time she leaves, George is dead but she thinks he has just passed out. She has no memory of the evening at all.
A cop whose wife has just thrown him out for daring to suggest their 12 year old son is mentally ill and vicious is drawn into the murder case. Bernie Bernstein is just about as depressing to read about as Anna and George. The only difference is that he's still able to function - barely.
All of these people plus the other characters were so unlikable that reading the book was like pounding my head against the wall. I just wanted it to stop. But I persevered and finished it so I can say with authority my opinion of this one is to skip it unless you are just unbearably cheerful and need something to bring you down off the high.
Source: Open Road Media via Netgalley