Jessica Day George

Friday, January 27, 2006

The Historian

I'd heard from my sister and my friend Rachel (Birch) that the ending of this book is disappointing. I'm going to have to argue that the whole book was disappointing. I liked the ending just fine, but coming as it did after 600 pages of vague, scholarly letters, I was mostly just glad to be done. I do hope that Elizabeth Kostova writes more, though, because this was a huge undertaking and really an amazing debut novel. It just needed a lot of editing. I'm okay with a story within a story. Even, perhaps, I story within a story within a story. But at one point we were five layers in: the narrator read a letter written by her father about a manuscript he had read that talked about a letter that had been written to a monk who related the following tale . . . oh, my gosh, one of these narrators has got to go!

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