the low down on new books

The Hunchback of Neiman Marcus

Reviewed by Brittney

Just the Facts:  by Sonya Sones. 432 p.  To be published by Harper Paperbacks in April 2011.  ARC provided courtesy of NetGalley.

Verdict: ★★★★

Who Cares?  Poetry / Adult Contemporary

Short Bio:  Holly feels caught in “the sandwich generation” – sending her daughter off to college while simultaneously dealing with her mother’s ill health, not to mention the other sundry effects of being a 50-year old woman (dealing with menopause, re-negotiating marriage relationship as kid leaves, etc.).

Eyewitness Account:  Being, myself, a young newlywed with no kids makes the setting of this story something that I can’t easily relate to – and yet, the poems that fill this book are so exquisitely written and full of the just the right balance of information to progress the plot and emotional expression to pull me in, that I found myself incredibly sympathetic to Holly and fully enjoying her journey.

I loved the narrator’s voice and style of expression, often alternating among wit, nostalgia, and raw emotion with ease. I loved the characterization, which gave each person in the story a personality without overly stereotyping. And I liked the plot, which had just enough tension and conflict to stay interesting without being so overblown that it felt artificially constructed. Most of all, I really enjoyed the last few poems at the end that set the whole story in context and provided a very positive and hopeful response to what could be seen as a depressing set of circumstances.

Note: Even though this book is technically a composite of “poems”, it reads more like lyrical prose.  I may not have picked the book up if I had known it was a series of poems, so I’m glad that I didn’t know that to begin with.  If that genre makes you wary – read the first couple poems before making up your mind.

Other Books Read by This Author: None.

What are other people saying? Esmerelda’s Book Thing, Holly Weiss, Lets Eat Grandpa 


★★★★★ Plot Development

★★★★ Characterization

★★★★★ Writing Style

★★★★> Original Idea

★★★★ Page Turner

Overall ★★★★


One response

  1. Pingback: Book Review: #27 – The Hunchback of Neiman Marcus by Sonya Sones « Let's eat, Grandpa! Let's eat Grandpa! (Punctuation saves lives.)

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