Friday, December 19, 2008

Alexander Chee/EDINBURGH


Fee, a twelve-year-old first soprano in an all-boys choir in idyllic Maine, is not the first boy to be molested by the choir conductor. But Fee, who is half-Korean, isn't quite the director's type. Peter, Fee's best friend, silver-blond with green eyes, is. Over the course of Fee's months in the choir and the years that follow, Fee wrestles with his experiences, his losses, and who he has become because of what was taken away from him.

This book was absolutely spellbinding. It's the only book I've been so engrossed in that I've actually missed my subway stop--and that happened twice during the week I was reading. Chee's language is extraordinary, and the story itself is told with such unsentimental but breathtaking detail that, for the first time in a long time, I felt like I was living the story myself instead of just reading about it. The subject matter is difficult, but Chee's focus isn't on horror or gore. Instead, it's on how, in the face of this kind of destruction, the things in our life that would otherwise be mundane are transformed into darker and harder things--and vice versa.

I strongly recommend this book. I wish the author had others.

4 comments:

Ello said...

Ok that is a great recommendation. I'll just have to go pick it up now!

Ann Victor said...

Sounds good. Off to Amazon to add to the ever-growing pile...! May need a supply of chocolate to keep me from getting too upset when reading it.

Kristin Dodge said...

You've convinced me... now, to get grading and writing done, so I can read without guilt.

angelle said...

now you've intrigued me...