Saturday, June 14, 2008

Dundy, Elaine (The Dud Avocado)

As the back cover says, "deceptive." Essentially, a tale of the life and times of a young American girl in Paris in the 50s, there's much more depth to this story than at first blush.

Firstly, the author is a great storyteller, weaving honesty, complicity, faith, and the "joys" of being a woman in a man's world into something cohesive. (The book is somewhat autobiographical, so writing from life...) In particular, I like one descriptive passage on why hosting dinner parties can be so torturous. I laughed out loud at it-- hit the nail on the head, I dare say.

Secondly, the moral of the story isn't set up so that your nose is rubbed in it. You get it a bit at a time, and while you know that the young girl will likely learn her lessons, you enjoy learning them with her.

And thirdly, it's a bit of a mystery tale, giving it a fabulous (if slightly disappointing) ending worthy of some of the best deception writers out there. She may not round out her characters as well as they might, but it really doesn't matter in this context.

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