Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The Sleep Hollow Family Almanac

In all honesty, I feel like I should like this book more than I actually did.  It's received pretty decent reviews from NPR and was a starred review in Publisher's Weekly, but I couldn't get behind it 100%. 
Calvin Moretti is a 24-year-old living at home after his plans to be a great...something with film doesn't work out.  He is aimless, awful with his finances, has warped priorities, and can't seem to really grow up, but we're supposed to connect with his innate humanity.  (None of us is perfect, Calvin is willing to admit his own flaws, etc.)  His successful older brother lives at home to help take care of his recuperating-from-cancer father, and his teenage sister has recently admitted that she is pregnant.  You can imagine what this has done to his mother.
Calvin spends his days working with autistic children, getting stoned with his high school friends, and trying to figure out what to do with his life.  I can see how other people in their mid-20s are supposed to find a kindred spirit in him: I have spent a lot of time wondering why I paid a not insignificant amount of money for a post-graduate degree when I can't find a job outside of administrative work.  At 26 years old, I don't feel like a grown-up. 
BUT Kris D'Agostino's novel seems to think that the the modicum of growing up that Calvin does throughout the story is equal to climbing Mt. Everest.  Calvin quitting his job when he has no back-up isn't helping anyone.  His inability to save money because he 'deserves' weed, vinyl, and prescription painkillers isn't indicative of a man who knows how to grow up; it's indicative of a man who won't  grow up.  By the time the book was over, I was ready to be done with the Moretti family. 
On the upside, this book did make me feel as though  my life is a bit more together than I think at times.  I'll take these small victories where I can!

1 comment:

  1. I hear you. Don't you wonder sometimes if the people reviewing these books are related to the author or something? Anyway, seeing other's lives quite often makes ours even greater than we thought!!! So reading this story wasn't a total waste. However, I don't think I'll be checking it out. Do you watch "Downton Abbey"? I'm reading "Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey" and it's really interesting. If you're watching that show, that is. XXXXX -- G'ma