10. May 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Andrea, Contemporary Fiction, Fiction, Romance, Women's Fiction (chick lit)

Cleaning Nabokov's House by Leslie Daniels, 322 pages, read by Andrea, on 05/09/2012

Barb is a divorcee who has lost everything. She has no money, and the car she drives needs more oil than a Mac truck. To make matters worse, her children have been taken away from her. Her controlling ex-husband (or experson according to Barb) has taken what she wants most, continuing to lord over her even after their disastrous marriage. A series of strange events leads Barb to make more money than she would have thought possible. She moves into a house once lived in by Vladimir Nabokov and finds what she believes to be a lost manuscript of his. A very odd entrepreneurial opportunity presents itself, giving her the strength and, oddly enough, the resources, to fight back for what she wants instead of always listening to what everyone else thinks she needs.

This book was rather odd. I didn’t love it, but the messages within the book were good. What was interesting for me was it was written in the voice of Barb. It is almost like the ramblings that go on inside your own head, so although she did come off as sounding a little crazy, it wasn’t too strange, as everyone has those crazy inner thoughts. It presents Barb as a 40 year old mother who is trying desperately to fit into a community that sees her experson as a god. She is just a woman who wants her children back, and is willing to try anything to make that happen. I liked the parallelism between Barb and how the book was written. In the beginning of the book, the writing seems very unorganized, as is her life. As the story progresses, Barb begins to understand herself and what she wants in her life. The book becomes more structured and clear, which to me was an interesting way to write a book.

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