Thursday, August 5, 2010

Vivian Rising Review

Twenty-nine-year-old Viv’s world is falling apart. She’s just lost the grandmother who raised her, her boyfriend, and her job. The stages of grief are hard enough to navigate when you’re not worried about losing your apartment. Desperate for meaning in a world that seems to have turned on her overnight, Viv turns to the stars for answers. She begins by casually looking up her horoscope late at night, but it isn’t long before she finds herself completely hooked. When she stumbles upon a particularly astute astrologer, she becomes so convinced of the power of the stars that she won’t make a single move without them. When the astrologer advises her to break it off with the man who’s been her saving grace, Viv is reluctant to lose the one thing that brings her joy. But the astrologer has been accurate on so many points, Viv can’t help but wonder if she should trust her here, too…

My take:  I have mixed feelings about this book.  Vivian is a believable character who is struggling to make sense out of her life.  The book begins with the death of her grandmother, the person she loves the most.  This, being the most challenging loss of her life, she questions God, the universe, the sense and reason for it all.  This is her journey for finding meaning again.

I really liked Vivian.  I liked her sense of humor and I liked the way she sees life.  I enjoyed her search for God and the interactions she had with others.  What I struggled with is my lack of understanding.  There are a lot of inside jokes that I didn't get because I'm not Jewish nor from Brooklyn.  I always felt like I was sitting on the outside of the "in" group because I didn't get the jokes.  My experience with New York Jews extends only as far as Seinfeld.  But I really wanted to understand Vivian's perspective.  Because she is so likeable.

There is also strong language and casual sex.  It's definitely rated PG-13, unless you actually read the swear words then it would be rated R. 

It's a story of one person (okay, really two, when you include Len whom I fell in love with, too) but it's really the story of anybody who has suffered loss and struggled to define life again.

4 stars

*FTC makes me admit that I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

1 comment:

CountessLaurie said...

And now I am curious... do YOU read the swear words? I won't tell anyone :-)