Dylan Tomine on Mockingbird

Mockingbirdrevi… Version 3

“…This is a book of gorgeous language, so rich and self-assured I found myself re-reading sentences just for their music. How can anyone’s first novel have this much confident, fully-formed talent on display? The story itself is a tale of a woman–a young, white, North American actress–who finds a seemingly abandoned child in Cuba. In her well-meaning efforts to care for the child and her visions of giving it “a better life,” we see her moral ambiguity, and possibly a kind of cultural arrogance. As she bonds with the child, she leaves a trail of wreckage in her wake. But what’s more interesting, at least to me, is what we come to understand about the narrator through her first-person subjectivity. In the tradition of Huck Finn, these are truths the narrator cannot see in herself… I highly recommend it.”

Dylan Tomine is the author of Closer to the Ground, published by Patagonia Books.

Full review:

 

“I have not been to Cuba, but I’ve spent enough time in tropical countries to know the ominous feeling that lurks below the surface of vibrant colors and sunshine. A feeling of something dark, an undercurrent you can’t quite articulate, a feeling that things might happen beyond your control. This contrast between tropical light and dark permeates Julie Trimingham’s debut novel, Mockingbird, in such a beautiful way, it feels exactly like the real thing: never quite said, but always there.

This is a book of gorgeous language, so rich and self-assured I found myself re-reading sentences just for their music. How can anyone’s first novel have this much confident, fully-formed talent on display? The story itself is a tale of a woman–a young, white, North American actress–who finds a seemingly abandoned child in Cuba. In her well-meaning efforts to care for the child and her visions of giving it “a better life,” we see her moral ambiguity, and possibly a kind of cultural arrogance.

As she bonds with the child, she leaves a trail of wreckage in her wake. But what’s more interesting, at least to me, is what we come to understand about the narrator through her first-person subjectivity. In the tradition of Huck Finn, these are truths the narrator cannot see in herself. Mockingbird is a beautiful book, and for me, an absorbing, exotic escape from our crazy-busy season here in the Pacific Northwest. I highly recommend it.”

Dylan Tomine is the author of Closer to the Ground, published by Patagonia Books. Formerly a fly-fishing guide, Dylan Tomine is now a writer, conservation advocate, blueberry farmer and father, not necessarily in that order. His work has appeared in The Flyfish Journal, the DrakeGolfweek, the New York Times and numerous other publications. He lives with his family on an island in Puget Sound. http://dylantomine.wordpress.com/2013/08/16/book-review-2-mockingbird/

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