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Chris Blocker

Literary snobbery and other thoughts by Chris Blocker

Four Spirits

Four Spirits: A Novel (P.S.) - Sena Jeter Naslund

Sena Jeter Naslund knows how to craft a very beautiful sentence. There is a cadence to the words she puts together that can be no accident. And though Four Spirits suffers from being the follow-up to Naslund's brilliant Ahab's Wife, it is this beautiful rhythm coupled with her heart for the subject that provide this novel with its strongest qualities.

What harms Four Spirits most, I believe, is the author's attempt to present so many perspectives. It works, but it doesn't necessarily add to the story. It's like adding all kinds of gears and levers and such to a machine that works great without them. Naslund does a masterful job writing from the viewpoint of so many characters, but their stories add nothing to little to the story.