Saturday, November 27, 2004

I Am Such A Witch

Sometimes I don't know how I can stand myself. Particularly when I dislike a book everyone else in the world seems to have loved. Take Ida B. by Katherine Hannigan, for instance. This book was really well reviewed. It has generated buzz.

I finally had to start skimming to get through it.

I found Ida B. to be one of those really annoying book childen, who are almost always girls by the way, who are wise, have unusually large vocabularies, and behave eccentrically in a stereotypically eccentric sort of way. Ida B. was into nature and her valley, something I, a farm kid, never understood until I did research for a book on Ethan Allen a few years ago and finally realized that in days of old without land you didn't eat. No wonder people were obsessed with holding onto their land. But the romanticized "the land, oh, the land" raving thing in books and movies is usually lost on me. As it was here.

Ida is dealing with a traumatic situation. Her mother has been diagnosed with cancer and because of her illness Ida's life changes in ways she doesn't like. Personally, I thought she was a selfish brat. I wouldn't have had a problem with Ida being a selfish brat under those circumstances. Stress makes all of us selfish at one time or another. But I didn't feel her behavior was ever really recognized for what it was. We got a lot of talk from Ida about her cold, hard heart, which I think I was supposed to find charming. I didn't.

We also got a lot of Ida talking to trees. The trees talked back. I think I was supposed to find that charming, too, but I kept thinking, "Hey, this kid is crazy. When are they going to do something about this kid being crazy?"

Like I said, it must just be me because everyone else loved this book.

No comments: