Review: Brass

Review for "Brass" by Xhenet Aliu (2018)

Rating: none (DNF)

DNF. Got to about the 35% mark before deciding not to continue.

In the 90’s, Elsie is a working class teenage waitress who falls for a married Albanian cook at the diner where she works. In the present day, her daughter, Luljeta, gets an rejection letter from NYU. The novel is told in the dual perspectives of both mother and daughter, living and loving in the their working class Connecticut town.

It’s not the writing here–it’s actually quite gorgeous. It’s just the story itself that I didn’t find very compelling. I kept putting the book down after several pages or so and coming back to it, not quite remembering what had happened before. It then occurred to me that perhaps this story is less about the plot and more of a character study–which is fine, but I think that sometimes that approach has its drawbacks, the down side being that I couldn’t seem to get into the characters either. The 2nd person perspective of the daughter also threw me for a loop. Instead of drawing me in, it completely distanced me from her story.

I may try this book again at a later time. For right now, though, I’m going to have to pass on this one.


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