August 29, 2009

The Lie by Fredrica Wagman

BOOK #: 68
REASONS READ: New Authors Challenge; Summer Reading List; TBR Lite Challenge; Sent for review from FSB Media
PUBLISHER: Zoland Books
GENRE: Fiction
RATING: 2.5/5 Stars

Book Summary: Ramona Smollens has a chance meeting on a park bench with an older man, Solomon Columbus. The two become lovers, and soon Ramona is leaving the home of her mother and recently deceased father for marriage and the trappings of adult life. She takes with her a dark family secret, the sort of secret one simply did not talk about, one that would stalk her as she matured into her role as wife and mother. Coming of age in 1950's America. Ramona gets her cues about a woman's role from the world around her, and about female sexuality from the silver screen. When experience teaches her that Hollywood's ideal is in fact "the lie," truth and desire collide with a force that is deeply moving and unforgettable.

What I Liked About the Book: Wagman has some very beautifully written thoughts. I like to read passages like "But that was because I didn't know then that success teaches nothing" and "we fly with our past on our wings" and "she glared at me still reeking of that venerated air of supreme indifference that she so diligently cultivated over her whole long nasty life."

What I Did Not Like: The stream-of consciousness writing is harder to enjoy than I thought it would be. There are hardly any periods or question marks, but there are tons of what seem to me to be run on sentences, sprinkled with -- and ... and italics. I thought an ADD reader like myself would find this style likable, but instead I found it distracting and after 50 pages of it, very annoying, to be honest. Like I said, I was surprised my ADD brain did not revel in it.

"Penis Fingers": The man Ramona falls in love with is first brought to her attention because of his "penis fingers". I feel like I need a visual for this one. I can't begin to imagine anyone's fingers looking like a penis. I'm sorry, but I was just bewildered by this one. I especially needed a visual after Ramona mentions it about two dozen times. If it is so amazing, I am going to need to see what the deal is with these things. I did find some relief when Ramona realized that she was also drawn to Solomon's calmness and not just his fingers. Finally, something I can relate to.

Final Thoughts: I think that this was not a book I could really get into and thoroughly enjoy, but obviously that is just my opinion. I always recommend reading more reviews before deciding whether you want to give the book a try or not. Below are some more reviews on The Lie that I know about. If you have reviewed this book or another book I have reviewed, please leave me a message or comment and I will add your link to my review post.

Other Reviews:
Just Books
Serendipitious Readings


  1. Hey,you made me chuckle this morning! Just imagine the searches that will find their way to your blog now.

  2. Ok, I was with you until the "penis fingers," then I spit all over my computer monitor! Where in the world did the author come up with that one?
    I agree though about the punctuation...I just read one where there were no quotations marks when the characters were speaking to one another...makes it hard to read!
    Nice review!

    Sharon (off to find the paper towels!)

  3. Penis fingers? Well, that's off putting!

  4. yuck! I'm with Lit and Life on this one!

  5. Sharon -
    You are going to get a bunch of weird searches for putting those words in your review. I think a follow up post using google analytics would be great! lol.
    I reviewed this book to. It was a tough one, and I also have another one of her books on my tbr list....

  6. not just "penis fingers" but 10 fat penis fingers! I swear it was more than 2 dozen times. I thought I was going to shriek after half the book if I read that phrase one more time.

  7. Too bad about that distracting phrase, and I can't stand it when something is repeated so often-even if I did understand it, and I don't. It doesn't sound like the story for me.

  8. Ah, yes, so true, so true. I think I shall do a Google Analytics next week- you know, give it time to really get weird. :)

  9. I haven't read this one, but have Playing House by her that I got from the publicist. I'm a little apprehensive...

  10. I actually really liked this book. Here's my review:


  11. Penis fingers??? Hmmm, ooookay. I think I'm going to skip this one. Any book that combines "deeply moving" and "penis fingers" is definitely not for me.

    Anywayyyy, I had to google it because I can't stop myself that way, and I found this interesting definition in the urban dictionary:


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