Instead of working on my last university paper last night I stayed up until 2 am finishing In the Woods by Tana French. I’m not sure if it’s because I haven’t had the chance to read something for fun in so long or because this book is really just that good… but I lost myself so completely in this novel that I surprised myself.
Without giving too much away, this book is about a young Irish male detective who gets put on a child murder case that is somehow connected to a traumatic experience from his past. But, more than that, this is a novel about friendship. About connections found and lost. I’m not usually attracted to mysteries, but I read the first page of this one and I was hooked. Probably, because it seemed more “literary” than your average murder mystery. In any case, I couldn’t put it down. My copy is haggard as if it has gone to hell and back again. I read this on the bus, at work, in the bath tub, in the rain waiting for a ride, early in the morning, late at night, upside down and right side up. Seriously, impossible to put down. Tana French has a prose style that I covet. I love how her paragraphs end with such short poignant observations on life that you can’t help but be awed by them. For example:
I remember that moment because, if I am honest, I have them so seldom. I am not good at noticing when I’m happy, except in retrospect. My gift, or fatal flaw, is for nostalgia. I have sometimes been accused of demanding perfection, of rejecting heart’s desires as soon as I get close enough that the mysterious impressionistic gloss disperses into plain solid dots, but the truth is less simplistic than that. I know very well that perfection is made up of frayed, off-struck mundanities. I suppose you could say my real weakness is a kind of long-sightedness: usually it is only at a distance, and much too late, that I can see the pattern (72).
I highly reccommend this book. Actually, I have already started reccommending this book. The Crush is going to Florida and I told him to take it for the plane… It begins again.