I love juxtaposing two seemingly unlikely books against each other as I read them at the same time by chance.
This week we have:
East of Eden, by John Steinbeck vs. One Week in December, by Holly Chamberlin
Steinbeck starts off with long descriptions of the setting that leave readers breathless with the essence of time and place. Chamberlin describes the furniture in every room and each item of clothing the characters wear.
Steinbeck gives us broad, sweeping strokes that take a character through decades with a few key moments. So does Chamberlin, but she breaks into her scenes in order to do so.
But both books deal with complicated family relationships, jealousy between siblings, and errors in judgement made by well-meaning parents. And both are getting on my nerves just a little bit. One because it keeps switching points of view between a multitude of self-centered characters wallowing in their personal emotional muck. The other, because it's taking forever to get going (partly because I'm also reading another book, perhaps?) and it's too fat to sling around town in my knitting bag. Bonus points to the first reader to correctly guess which is which.