Thursday, June 4, 2009

I See You Everywhere by Julia Glass

I See You Everywhere by Julia Glass
304 pages
Published October 2008 by Knopf Publishing Group

Clem and Louisa couldn't be more different. Clem's charismatic, the kind of woman that people -- especially men, as Louisa so sourly notes -- want to be around. She's also one of the lucky ones whose earliest passion ("Saving animals is all I've ever wanted to do") becomes her career. A wildlife biologist who works to protect endangered species, Clem travels the world with ease and relish.

Louisa, meanwhile, stumbles upon herlife work without much fanfare. After failing as a potter, she turns to writing about art to pay the bills. Freelance assignments lead to staff positions. Writing leads to editing. Before you know it, Louisa's found her niche, a solid if not joyful fit. Also not joyful are Louisa's relationships with men. Clem attracts multitudes, each one a possible soul mate. Louisa, we learn, dates and marries the wrong guys.

My Thoughts:
I was drawn into this one from the beginning. The dynamics of sisterhood always interests me. And the setting of that first section, the great-aunt's home, was fascinating.

 But Glass was not interested in expanding on this bit of the book. So she moves the reader along, dropping into each of the sister's lives in various points over the next 25 years. And, honestly, I found some of those points quite dull. This was partially due to the fact that Glass was felt compelled to give the reader a lot of backstory for each of these parts and these backstories did nothing to explain or expand on the relationship between Clem and Louisa.

 But at the turning point, Glass pulls us back in as the family struggles to come to terms with what has happened. In the end, this is a story of love, sorrow, and learning that there are sometimes problems that we cannnot fix.

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