After the Fire, a Still Small Voice, by Evie Wyld
Okay everyone, it is that time of year and I’m going to say just one word that everyone’s probably tired of seeing on blogs, even (probably especially) if you yourself are not in school, but that explains the relative blog-neglect: FINALS. They’re happening. But before they started happening, about a week ago, I did manage to finish After the Fire, a Still Small Voice by Evie Wyld, and only now have a little breather in which to post about it. Whew!
So, this book was all over the blogosphere a few months ago, and I recall many rave reviews. I was expecting to agree with them but, I’m sorry to say, I don’t.
The book follows Frank and Leon, two Australian men of different generations, fighting wars both literal and metaphorical. It’s a book about violence and the ways in which it shapes our families and relationships, its repercussions and disturbingly persistent influence.
I had a weird experience reading this book that I don’t remember having before. I went back and forth between liking it and disliking it over and over again, whereas usually I know very early on how I feel about a book and that feeling only intensifies the more I read. I think it was because I was expecting to like this book and wanted to, but the characters and story in general were really boring to me. It was all very flat, I thought, though every once in a while one of Wyld’s descriptions would catch me and reel me back in. I guess I see potential here, but for me, this one didn’t live up to the hype. If I hadn’t been stuck waiting in the emergency room to see a doctor with no other reading material, I don’t think I would have finished it*. The “revelation” at the end was obvious at least half way through the book, and the subplot about the missing girls made me really anxious and kind of sick-feeling.
On a barely related end-note, Evie Wyld has such an awesome rock-star sounding name. It’s like straight out of the movie Velvet Goldmine. I love it. I hope that her subsequent work is more interesting to me, if for no other reason than I’ll have reason to continue speaking her name.
*Don’t worry, nothing serious. I woke up with a mysterious puffy eye (like, REALLY puffy), and the hypochondriac in me insisted I make sure it wasn’t a food allergy or something. Apparently, it’s possible to sneeze or blow your nose too hard, so that the force of the blow puts pressure on the cavity between your nose and eye and the extra air inflates the tissue around your eye causing it to swell to epic porportions. Like a balloon. Yes, really. Nerdiest medical issue everrrr.