Thursday, August 19, 2010

Long Division by Jane Berentson

Hello All,

I read Long Division by Jane Berentson because I received it for review from Plume (Penguin Group). It was not what I expected from reading the back cover.

Annie Harper is a third grade teacher whose boyfriend is deployed to Iraq. She decides to write a book about being on the homefront while he is away. Again, it wasn't what I expected--she does not socialize with other women whose husbands/boyfriends are deployed, she does not socialize with other girlfriends; she starts working on her book, and buys a chicken for a pet. I did find lots of humor in the book--having a chicken for a pet, the endless entertainment of third graders, Annie's commentary in general. And I think she's a terrific teacher. But I feel that Annie is too young and too self-absorbed to write a book about the homefront. I felt that Annie was pretty selfish overall--she wasn't as giving or supportive as one would expect from a girlfriend whose boyfriend's fighting a war.

The other aspect of the book that would have made me put it down had I not been reading it for review were the footnotes. I, personally, do not enjoy or see the reason for footnotes in a fiction book. There were footnotes on almost every page. I found this very distracting, and feel that there should have been a way to put what was in the footnotes into the narrative.

Back to a more positive point, there was an interesting twist that I didn't see coming, though when I look back on the book, I should have. I think it's a good twist, but more than that would be a spoiler.

Recommended for younger adult readers.

Happy Reading!

1 comment:

paintingpretties said...

I agree. The book I have was titled "Miss Harper can do it" Same exact story as "Long Division." Why?