Yesterday I read Letters from Skye. And I got very into it, and cried buckets at the ending and gave it 4 1/2 stars. I didn’t want to start another book and ruin my “great book” hangover. And then this morning I woke at maybe 3 a.m. thinking, “What the fuck? Why did he even do that? That’s horrible! I hate that book!”
I admired the craft of the book very much as I was reading it. The epistolary structure, which alternates letters between two periods of history, builds suspense beautifully; I was panting to find out the answers to my questions. And the letters are very sweet, and full of character. I also admired the fact that they have their own voices. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society sounded too much like Dear Enemy by Jean Webster. The Divorce Papers sounded too much like Up the Down Staircase by Bel Kaufmann. Letters from Skye sounded like itself.
And yet today I’m no longer feeling that great book satisfaction. Instead, I feel bitter and manipulated. It’s like a dessert that tasted absolutely wonderful going down, but pretty lousy on the way back up.