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Michael Lockridge

An excellent review, and one that causes me to seriously consider reading This Is How. I spent twenty years as a corrections officer, and have observed first hand how incarceration can be 'transformative.'

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What a strange and intriguing book! It makes me think of Camus' The Outsider, except there, the main protagonist is perfectly fine with his own odd way of living, and it's other people who give him grief for it. I've read lots of good reviews of books by this author, and yet I've always held back, fearing that the narratives will be too profoundly upsetting. But if you read it and liked it, then it does make me feel more inclined to try this novel out.


I had similar feelings about reading this novel (and her earlier works to a degree as well). Glad to hear that you felt it worthwhile!

Her work reminds me of that by Barbara Gowdy and Alissa York...they, too, take me to places that I don't want to go, my eyes asquint much of the time.

And I admire that sort of storytelling. (More recently, Carol Birch's Jamrach's Menagerie had a similar effect, but I haven't read others of hers, so I'm not sure if that's characteristic.)


Litlove--I think I have seen the comparison to Camus, who I have yet to read, but I think I should start with The Stranger. This book was often very unsettling as I was reading--reading about a men's prison is not particularly nice really, but she pulls you along so you can't stop. In an odd way, though, there is a hopeful sort of ending--all things considered. I'd love to know what you make of it if you ever feel the urge to read it!
BuriedinPrint--I'm waiting for my library to get her books in--and I plan on going back now and reading the first two. I've not heard of Barbara Gowdy or Alissa York, but I shall certainly be looking them up. I'd like to read Carol Birch (I have her Scapegallows to read at some point), too. I admire Hyland's writing as well-it isn't an easy thing to pull off a sympathetic character in a situation like this, but she did it. This is a book that is going to stick with me for a while, I think.


If I hadn't already bought one of hers, I'd rush to get this one. It does sound very good, indeed. I try to be more sensible and read more from my reading pile...


I thought this sounded interesting when you first mentioned it, now you have forced me to put it on my TBr list!


Caroline--Which one do you have? It sounds like her other books are equally as good from what I've read. Maybe you can add this one to your list for later. I don't think I've ever asked but do you have a local library you like to use? Or prefer to read books from your own shelves?
Stefanie--It was interesting and very good--definitely one to add to that list. This would be a great book to read in a group and discuss!


I'm not much of a library person for the simple fact that I have no time to go there and since I live in a German speaking area, I'm afraid the choice in English books is minimal. I could use the university library but that's even farther away. I admit, I order them.


Caroline--Your English is so good, I forgot that you would mostly only find German language books in local libraries. Do you mostly read books in English then? With Amazon and the Book Depository you probably have good access to English language books, don't you?


Now I'm wondering what all this eye-squinting is about! My daughter sent me a news article about the proposed execution this week of a KKK member who dragged and killed a black man in Texas a few years ago. So horrifying were the details that I found myself with a fist in my mouth! Sometimes these are the things we need to read just to remind us that it's important for sanity and morality to be championed in our lives.

Thanks for this thoughtful review. Have to go get the book, now!



Deborah/The Bookish Dame--It is very uncomfortable to read about these things. Hyland writes so well about this fictional crime and all the after affects--it was interesting to read and occasionally uncomfortable. I did need something a little lighter after it, but I plan on reading more of her work now.


This sounds good. Great review!


Kailana--Thanks. It was good--made for tense reading but well worth it!

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