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Chris Blocker

Literary snobbery and other thoughts by Chris Blocker

Currently reading

Visible Empire
Hannah Pittard
The Deptford Trilogy
Robertson Davies
Life on Mars
Jennifer Brown
The Family Under the Bridge
Natalie Savage Carlson

Visible City

Visible City - Tova Mirvis

I love the insight and language of Tova Mirvis' Visible City. This is largely a book about what it means to be a parent and Mirvis expertly tackles the subject from many angles. The loyalty of parents to children, children to parents, is wonderfully drawn at many different junctures of life. Though some of the younger parents may almost seem like caricatures of the modern parent (though I've come across some of their ilk who weren't far from these Purell-guzzling mothers), they're emblazoned with a clear question of 'when is it too much?'” I love the style and the language; it easily brings to mind the work of Meg Wolitzer.


For me, however, the story just wasn't there. There's this breed of novel I've seen a few times in the last several years where the story is brushed aside to make room for a good idea that is barely developed, supported entirely by its wonderful sentences. The one that comes immediately to mind is Hannah Pittard's The Fates Will Find Their Way. Fortunately for Pittard, the language was so perfect I was immediately a fan, though I hope for more substance next time. Mirvis caught my attention with Visible City. I like the style and the sense of setting. I'd be willing to give her work another go, but only if I had a hope that either the characterization or story were going to be strong enough to support the weight of the words. Without such a base, the whole structure sort of topples over.