This debut novel by Tommy Orange has been on my TBR list since 2020. I am glad I finally read this book and really enjoyed the story told in the work. My biggest problem was in style and my difficulty following the storyline as it switched between the different characters narrating the story. I think some of this struggle was due to the fact I was listening to the book rather than reading. If I had been reading a written edition, I could have switched back and forth to keep the characters straight in my head.
The other reason I only gave it a 2 1/2 star review was the ending. I finished the book feeling like I had been dropped off a cliff. There were so many unanswered questions regarding the fates of the characters. Maybe this is a reflection of me as a reader and a need to feel like things are resolved and complete. I left the book feeling like there was parts of the story missing. I do think this does indicate I had a real interest in the characters and their lives. I just want to know what happened to them.
There There by Tommy Orange
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I have mixed feelings about this book and would really have given it a 2 1/2 stars if possible. I thoroughly enjoyed the characters and their stories and emotions. I liked the entire premise of the different people of Native American descent coming to the PowWow in Oakland each with their own motivations. The characters definitely interested me and drew me into their worlds and I found myself wanting to learn more about them. I just had a hard time with the erratic nature of the story line at times and struggled to keep the characters straight especially their relationships and their histories. I do think the fact I was listening to the book probably exaggerated this confusion. Perhaps in a written copy there is a character chart with their relationships to each other that helps keep the reader on track.
The other aspect of the book I found troubling was the ending. I felt like I was left without any resolution and a lack of knowledge of what became of the characters. I definitely think this feeling of frustration does attest to the degree to which I became invested in the characters and their stories. If I had not been engaged I probably wouldn't care so much about feeling like I was left hanging to know what became of the characters and their lives.
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The Challenge Prompts I will use this for are:
- Library Love #LibraryLoveChallenge Book #89
- Alphabet Soup Author Edition #AlphabetSoupAuthorChallenge "O"
- Beat the Backlist #50 includes a 2nd person point of view
- Virtual Mount TBR #VirtualMountTBR2021 Book #96
- Back List Reader #Backlistreader Book #110
- PopSugar #popsugarreadingchallenge #16. A book by an indigenous author
- Nerd Daily #NERDREADING2021 #27. SAME FIRST INITIAL AS YOU
- Pick your Poison #17-4 A book by an author whose name is a color
- Diversify your reading #DYRC21 yes contemporary fiction
- Backpacking Bookworm #bbReadingChallenge2021 Indigenous author/characters
- Audiobook #2021AudiobookChallenge book #10