the next good book

Trust Exercise

By Susan Choi


257 pages

What’s it about? This novel is written in three distinct parts.  The first part of the novel is set in a performing arts school in the early 1980’s. Mr. Kingsley is the head of the drama department and the students all revolve around him and his “trust exercises”. I won’t say more about the plot as it would give too much away.What did it make me think about? This ambitious novel made me think of another book I read earlier this summer-Asymmetryby Lisa Halliday.  Both books are written in three parts.  Both novels contain a story within a story and both are very smart novels.  However, I enjoyedAsymmetryand I did not enjoyTrust Exercise.I just could not muster much interest in the characters… Should I read it? I would say this book is an intellectual trust exercise in itself.  It would be a good book to read as a class or in a group as it has so many themes to discuss.  However, I did not enjoy reading it at all.   So for me- the book was just tedious.  That is not to say that it is not a well-written, thought provoking book.  All the critics loved it- so maybe you will love it as well.  It just missed the mark for me…. Quote- “Remember the impossible eventfulness of time, transformation and emotion packed liked gunpowder into the barrel.  Remember the dilation and diffusion, the years within days.” “All of us , I think it is fair to say, fixate on things from our past, maybe wanting to change them.” “Because we’re none of us alone in this world.  We injure each other. Why should another be injured by choices I made for my Self? You’re choosing for another when you make choices.  We overlap.  We get tangled.  You can’t help but hurt.”

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