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Posted July 28, 2008
Playing with the Grown-ups is more like Playing with Clichés
Let's get to the point quickly, just because Sophie Dahl is the grand daughter of Roald Dahl doesn't mean she's only living off of the name & has no real talent of her own, actually the woman has her own unique writing style & it is quite good, rather what's lacking in her debut is a great plot. With Dahl's modern-fairy-tale like prose we're presented with a part enchanted and part horrible childhood of Kitty, the grand daughter of charming English eccentrics, but the daughter of a beautiful mentally unstable hippie mother. The antics Marina puts Kitty through like always sending her off to a new school just when she starts to get comfortable at her current one or dating alcoholics, makes anyone love their own mother more than normal. Yet Kitty's idolization of her mother never fully falters, and due to Dahl's whimsical way with words we can sympathize too. It's just that as Marina's escapades get more grandiose and therefore Kitty gets more out of control too, the enjoyable story turns into an obnoxious loop of stuff we're read before. The ending is especially abrupt and dissatisfying. Dahl has her own writing talent, but her somewhat autobiographical novel needs to step away from her hectic family life for once.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 13, 2008
Playing with the Grownups
Playing with the Grownups is a GenX coming-of-age story told from the point of view of Kitty, a child born to an unmarried high school student who had an affair with a married man. This story is as much the story of Kitty's coming-of-age as it is a story of the coming-of-age of her mother, Marina. The story is told as a series of flashbacks Kitty has while traveling back to England to visit her hospitalized mother. Even outside of the flashback convention, the flow of the story tends to get a bit choppy and comes off reading less as a progressive accounting of Kitty's rather unconventional life and more like a series of snapshot-like short stories. The setting of the story moves back and forth between America and England as Marina desperately tries on a variety of widely different lifestyles trying to find the one that's a good fit for her - usually dragging her 3 children and a live-in nanny along with her - with the expected results.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 4, 2009
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