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Pickle Me This

May 19, 2011

Mini Review: Pleased to Meet You by Caroline Adderson

Remember Caroline Adderson? She popped up on a list of underrated writers last year, and it occurred to me that I’d never read her. Which was timely, because she had a new novel coming out, The Sky is Falling, which I read and loved, and then Nathalie gave me  Pleased to Meet You for Christmas, and I’d been saving it ever since then.

I enjoyed the book entire, though it wasn’t until about half way through that the stories became really vivid to me. Beginning with the story “Knives”, which was the first of my two favourites, about a group of house-sharing university students whose new housemate disrupts their lives, managing to see inside their souls, steal those souls, and multiple knife sets in the process–he gives them weapons to destroy themselves with. Such a smart, funny story whose characters are idiots, but the dynamic between them invests them with multiple dimensions. And then with “Mr. Justice” about a family of miserable people, about losing a father you’ve never had, and about the breaks some of us have to make in order to find happiness. There are no good guys in this story, but we see its characters from every angle, most essentially these glimpses when they’re going on like they don’t even know that we’re there.

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