“bonita avenue” by peter buwalda
this is a lengthy tome, made even lengthier by the disorderly time and narrator jumping. the first two-thirds of the book was confusing. it bounced between time, location, and point of view so frequently and without notice that made it disorienting and a challenge to read. that being said, i enjoyed the last third of the book as the pieces came together and a clear picture and timeline started to emerge in my head. but, by this time i had already read 300 plus pages and it wasn’t enough to save it from a rating of under three stars. and it abruptly ended. i was finally understanding the chain events and the characters and actually wanted more despite my earlier feelings. and then it ends which is (only somewhat) unsatisfying.
“bonita avenue” is translated from the dutch and not much gets lost in translation. buwalda constructs beautiful sentences even when describing unsavory scenes. his talent lies in his visual, pictorial imagery that is stated in a proficient and artful manner. one of my favorite lines is an example of this skill.”he was sweating profusely, flooding the beaches of his hawaiian shirt.” so descriptive and imaginative. i smiled at that sentence long after reading it.
this story is chock full of characters without any redeeming qualities. once you get towards the end you are able to muster up some compassion for them though, but that corresponds with my review of the overall structure of the book: too little, too late.
i received a copy of this book from blogging for books in exchange for an honest review.