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3.0 out of 5 stars Some very good writing, but not always, 29 Sep 2010
This novel about a dysfunctional family is narrated by the son, Ezra, and by the mother, Pixie, in alternating chapters. For some reason I found the chapters written by Pixie to be better than those by her son, which suggests that the author found it less easy to get the right 'voice' for the boy. Perhaps this isn't surprising as she's a woman.
Not that any of it is bad, but some of the angst-filled writing by Pixie is actually quite brilliant, reflecting the fact that Ms Baggott is a poet as well as a novelist.
Unfortunately the writing loses its edge halfway through and it becomes almost boring for a time, picking up a bit towards the end. There isn't much of a plot; just the tale of a young beauty queen who gradually comes to realize that her life is one long series of disappointments, partly due to her strange family (her father does bad things and then kills himself, first husband turns out to be gay, second one a bore, etc etc). It would be sad but it's not really all that involving.
Although the novel is full of dark humour, it is only occasionally really funny, and if this sounds a bit contradictory then all I can say is that it's a weird story. I enjoyed it, but I wouldn't call it great.
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The Miss America Family
The Miss America Family by Julianna Baggott (Hardcover - 9 April 2002)
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