Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Book Review ~ Incendiary, by Chris Cleave

by Cherilyn David

When you find yourself Googling, to see if the events in the book you’re reading, really happened… I think that’s good fiction.

I almost didn’t read Incendiary. The author is British and I had a hard time getting through a previous novel, Little Bee. Not that it was a bad story line or anything, but I really stumbled on somewhat of a language barrier. I know, English. This is even more shocking when you consider what a huge Bridget Jones fan I am! In any case, it was the jacket that drew me in, the mother, the tragedy.

I found the story Cleave is telling to be a little crazy, all over the place and fraught with unbelievable twists. Except I believed it. Life is like that, sometimes, for some of us. Instead of the disconnect I felt in my previous experience with the British tongue, I found myself seeking out the meaning in things I wasn’t sure of, because I wanted to know!

I’m amazed at the way he manages to speak from a female perspective. So much so, I was shocked to discover the author was man! I love the covers of both books; the silhouettes, the eyes!

Incendiary's unnamed heroin, slash adulterous alcoholic, is endearing and crass, broken and strong. Although her behavior is somewhat unorthodox much of the time, I found myself loving her and begging for her triumph! Her story has just enough that any person can relate to. We all know love, we all know loss and unfortunately, we all know how terrorism can grab anyone from their modest stoop and set them spinning.

[in-sen-dee-er-ee] adjective, noun, plural -ar•ies.
1. used or adapted for setting property on fire: incendiary bombs.
2. of or pertaining to the criminal setting on fire of property.
3. tending to arouse strife, sedition, etc.; inflammatory: incendiary speeches.
4. tending to inflame the senses: an incendiary extravaganza of music and dance.

Just found out that there was a movie made as well in 2008. How did I miss this? Watching a movie after I have read the book is a great way to revisit your overall feelings, as well as compare and contrast which story you prefer. We all run a movie in our heads when we are reading. It’s fun to have another on the screen and catch the similarities!

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