Review: Red Hook Road by Ayelet Waldman
Title: Red Hook Road
Author: Ayelet Waldman
Genre/Pages: Fiction/ 352
Rating: 4 bookmarks
Nat’s One-Sentence Synopsis: Two diverse families brought together by marriage find themselves struggling to navigate the rocky shoals of tragic loss and grief before the wedding celebration even has a chance to begin.
Red Hook Road is one of my favorite novels this year, and I can’t wait to read the rest of Ayelet Waldman’s oeuvre. Her writing is so beautiful and honest–I felt as if she was relaying the story of an actual family instead of characters and a storyline that she created in her own mind.
The loss in this book wasn’t easy to take–it was tragic and senseless–not an easy read by any means, but the novel was redemptive. There were losses on so many levels, but the characters changed and grew as a result, so the tragedies weren’t just for the sake of the plot.
I savored this book but could only read it a few chapters at a time. Waldman doesn’t rush the story and almost encourages readers to take time with the characters. She offers accurate and well-researched details on her characters’ passions and hobbies. From rebuilding an antique wooden sailboat, to boxing, to the life of a violin virtuoso and his young protege, Waldman’s attention to detail is part of what makes this novel so believable.
The ending of the book was a bit melodramatic, but I don’t think there really was another way to bring closure to the families. The characters were flawed, and I was sometimes put off by their actions. Despite those things, Red Hook Road was a poignant and well-written novel that I would recommend without hesitation.