I really enjoy “coming of age” stories as well as those dealing with relationships. This book unfolded over three generations of women; grandma, mother, and daughter, and was all of that. What’s missing from this book is a plot twist or big issue for any character to battle or overcome. It’s simply a journey alongside these women on their day to day and how they dealt with life and the curveballs it throws.
It begins in India, proceeds to the Midwestern United States, journeys to the West Coast and then ends up all the way back on the East Coast. I kept wanting something to happen – but really, there never was a “big” culmination of events. I truly felt that this was a simple story, missing all the drama – but missing none of the details. It was the details that wove the story together so beautifully.
The majority of the book centers around Kathryn who breaks free of her childhood life and delves into another world from the deeply religious one she grew up in. Some of the internal battles she fights include her sexuality, her worth as a woman, infertility and miscarriage, depression, and being stuck in an unfulfilling marriage. This book touches on so many different commonplace issues for women at all ages of life.
I did feel a few pangs of irritation for Katheryn as the story unfolded. It seemed she was constantly longing for what she didn’t have and was never really happy when she got what she wanted and her resentment kept her unhinged. Her daughter summarizes it well while they are in Las Vegas on vacation. But, at the same time, I felt her feelings on various subjects were spot-on and I could relate very well to her on some things. I guess I just wouldn’t make the choices she did.
In summary, this quiet, unremarkable story was really quite enjoyable. I’m probably missing a major message from the author tucked into the story lines, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.
Ultraviolet is Suzanne Matson’s fourth novel. She is also a published poet. She heralds from Portland, Oregan. Visit her website to learn more at:
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