Not exactly a mountaintop experience

Vivid characters? Check.

Stunning plot twists? Check.

Minnesota setting? Check.

What more could one ask for in a book? Well, a story arc? Would that be too much to ask?

mout joyI appreciated Lorna Landvik’s turn of phrase in “The View from Mount Joy,” especially such gems as “The old woman looked at me, her blue eyes full of the life the rest of her body seemed to have given up on,” but I guess I have just too much A personality to appreciate the journey without a good destination. “Mount Joy” presented an interesting story, but it just meandered around for me.

When I got to the end, I felt like I did at the end of the movie “No Country for Old Men”: That’s it? Are you kidding me? I flipped through the pages looking for more. And there was no more.

“Honestly, there’s not a lot of planning when I start a book,” Landvik says in the author interview in the back of the book (one of the things I ran into, looking in vain for a better ending).

Well, it showed.

It doesn’t help that I just finished reading “Save the Cat” by Blake Snyder, a brilliant little book about screenplay plotting which probably made me more aware of the elements of a compelling story arc.

Bottom line? Read it like you ought to live your life: Savor the journey.


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