Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Book Review - April & Oliver
April & Oliver, by Tess Callahan, is a lyrical novel about unrequited love. At the beginning of the story, April's younger brother Buddy is killed in a car accident. April is running low on family members; both of her parents are already dead, and her beloved Nana is growing old and frail. But Oliver comes back to town. Oliver and April's fathers were step-brothers, which makes April and Oliver sort of like cousins, only they aren't blood related. This is an important distinction to remember, because there is sexual tension between the two of them that can barely be contained.
That wouldn't be a problem, except that Oliver is engaged to the wonderfully perfect Bernadette, and April is a total mess, so she can't be good for Oliver. Yet the two of them are drawn to each other nonetheless, and the question remains: will they get it on?
I enjoyed this novel because it is beautifully written. Tess Callahan has a brilliant control of language. This woman can write metaphors and imagery like nobody's business. In addition, there are some very profound passages and insights into human nature. But, if you need a book with a gripping plot that is wrapped up neatly at the end, this is not for you. I'm glad I read it, but the ending left me a little unsettled. I wanted more.