girls are ruthless to girls
. a boy writer will dash out some half-thought out sci-fi space opera replete with laser beams, bug-eyed aliens, and half-clad green-skinned vixens, and out of nowhere three hundred boy reviewers will say 'awesome, dude! five stars!' let a girl create a somewhat sugary, somewhat innocent Peru-ploitation work, and bam bam bam one-star bullets from all corners of the world.
hence, in short, a novel currently ranking 3.86 on goodreads.com but easily deserving a 4.3. Patchett's work is
flawed, the characters are too innocent, Peru is too pleasant, the Japanese too romantic, but what redeems the work is a well-structured, well-paced crisp and "off-set by violence" chamber work that represents a significant addition to American literature. well-deserving of the Orange Prize and PEN/Faulkner, Patchett is understood by the literary establishment if she barely meets the approval of the Amanda Hocking set.
a competent, crisp achievement. I look forward to exploring the rest of Patchett's catalog, even if this is understood to be her magnum opus to date.