A Short, Poignant Book

GlaciersGlaciers by Alexis M. Smith

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Although called a novel and appearing to be 174 pages, the pages are small and the margins large, which makes it more like a long short story. It also reads more like a short story in its compactness.

I am sure there is more to glacier imagery than I have gotten so far, but I have seen history, mystery, and the slow disappearing. The imagery of glaciers calving appeared twice: on the imagined trip from Seattle back to Alaska and later to describe the parents’ relationship: everything important calved away.

To Isabella the glacier represented her life in Alaska when the family was whole.

Isabella dwelt in the past through her shopping in vintage shops for everything and her career in the library repairing old books. She also dwells in an imaginary world. She has friends, gay male friends. She has a secret crush on another library worker. (view spoiler) The imagined life Vs. the actual life is reinforced by a brief comparison of the library staff in the basement to super heroes disguised as geeks.

The narration wove skillfully between past and present, between imagination and experience to draw a photo of Isabella. Poignant was her hope that her life would not end up in a shoe box of photos in an antique store.

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2 responses to “A Short, Poignant Book

  1. dezertsuz

    Interesting. I’ve had that same thought about my photos. =) Thanks for the review. I’ll check it out.

    • My mother, knowing that many of her photos of her friends in her youth wouldn’t mean anything to us, her children, who had never met them, went through her albums and send photos to the people who were in them so that they could keep them in their families. And those that had our family in them, she labeled who was who.

      We have since gone through and labeled those she didn’t–that we know. At least that way they will stay meaningful in the family.

      My daughters and I also browse the old photos in antique shops and ponder the sadness that there is no one who cares about them–though looking at our attitudes to photos we know nothing about, can certainly understand. And it is hard not to think of one’s own photos in such shops.

      https://knitnkwilt.wordpress.com/ http://www.knitnkwilt.com

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