book review: The Melting Season

Title: The Melting Season
Author: Jami Attenberg
ISBN: 978-1594488962
Pages: 304
Publisher: Riverhead Hardcover (January 21, 2010)
Category: literary fiction
Review source: publisher
Rating: 4.5/5

I had not thought about it before, but it was kind of fun. The not-knowingness of it all freaked me out. But it was like playing a game too. I felt like every new person I met, every new city I visited, the farther I got away from my past, I would be making a move. The lies, too, were moves. I had not told any big ones yet but I had told a few, and I knew I would have to tell more before all of it was over.

The Melting Season explores the journey and self-awakening of a small town woman as she travels into the brightly lit, big dreaming Las Vegas. By phone, author Jami Attenberg told me that she wanted to take a woman with a “small world view and expand that into a bigger world view.” Attenberg created the compelling and layered character of 25-year-old Catherine Madison, on the run from her cheating husband with a suitcase of money and overloaded by secrets. She wanted to write an “accessible character to broaden her audience,” the Brooklyn resident explained. Once in Vegas, Catherine meets the mysterious Valka and despite their different backgrounds and life experiences, the two women instantly connect. The establishment of the women’s bond combined with the unraveling of Catherine’s story makes The Melting Season an engulfing read.

Jami Attenberg reads from The Melting Season at Newtonville Books at 2 pm Sunday, February 28, 2010.

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