Thursday, January 31, 2008


A novel by Alissa York.
Quickie recap: Dorrie is the 4th and newest wife in the Hammer family, wed not for her looks or personality, but purely for her skill in taxidermy. The mormon household is alive with secrets, fresh from violent times in 19th century Utah, the family functions because everyone is thinking of someone or something else...until some of those secrets begin to reveal themselves.
Quickie review: I think this will have to be a review-in-progress, because I'm still thinking on this one, not sure how I feel about it when all is said and done. Generally, I think the fact that it's still bothering me is a good sign. I think York is a fine author, there were some beautiful words, some haunting images. Possibly the reason I feel a bit tripped up is the taxidermy bits were a little too instructional for my taste. It took me out of the story a bit to be told not to rip the tearduct with my scalpel, be careful not to burst the eyeballs. But otherwise, York's graphic style is what makes Effigy successful. Ultimately, I feel rewarded for having made it to the end. I feel like some bit of truth has broken off and is floating around in my head, and in the coming days and probably weeks, it will be gnawing at me, whispering.
Quickie recommendation: A worthy read.
Incidentally, I happen to watch and adore the show Big Love. Is anyone else watching this? I found the book to be a sharp contrast - these are the roots of the religion, the first "Saints", and their struggles to make it all work.


Ms Mac said...

I'll have to remember this one next time I'm browsing...

I watch Big Love too. It's one of my favourite ever shows.

Steven W. Beattie said...

"Ultimately, I feel rewarded for having made it to the end."

This pretty much sums up my problem with the novel: by the end it had become more of an endurance contest than anything resembling an enjoyable read. I agree that York is a fine author, but her material just left me cold.

Lorna said...

Big Love is only available on the channels I haven't bought. Yet. "Dexter" is out there too, but I can't seem to persuade Dave that lives of the mormons and serial killers is a good investment.