The Resurrection of Joan Ashby by Cherise Wolas
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I stared it earlier and had to take a break when I sprained my thumb, because the book is heavy! But that should not be seen as a reflection of my interest.
The Resurrection of Joan Ashby takes a deep look into the internal life of a female author. Her fiction parallels and adds depth to the story of her life.
Joan Ashby published two books of short stories with great acclaim, and then disappeared! It turns out that in her shifting of her energies to a domestic situation (marriage and then two boys), she was unable to write. But the author gives us insight into her thoughts and sacrifices and struggle in a way I'm not sure we usually get to see.
How many women give up their dreams, and convince themselves their new lives are enough? We all change. But what if the dreams could be followed after all? I think that's what this book really looks at.
In the ARC I have, the various pieces of fiction along with some other differences (letters, audio recordings) are represented by different fonts. This made my head ache a bit, to my surprise, but I don't know if this was handled differently in the final version or not.
The complexity of the novel was impressive for a debut, but in the beginning and middle I felt it really added a lot to the story. Near the end, when Joan's novel is read alongside her current situation, I felt less convinced that a separate story needed to be included since there were so many parallels. In many ways her story had become the important one.
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