Wednesday, December 17, 2008
At first, the references to To Kill a Mockingbird were so blatant and distracting I was about to quit the book. The main character is named Skunk, her single father Archie is a lawyer, her older brother is named Jed and the neighborhood bully Bob Oswald beats up another neighbor, Rick Buckley, thereafter known as Broken.
Then the book took a bizarre twist and I forgot all about To Kill a Mockingbird. The Oswald family (Bob and his five S-named daughters (Saraya, Saskia, Susan, Sunrise and Sunset)) is so over the top crazy. Actually, most of the characters in Broken are over the top. And a lot of them are crazy.
So it goes like this. Skunk sees Bob Oswald beat the crap out of Rick. Bob's daughters terrorize the neighborhood and the local school. But Bob is a white-trash, tattooed, druggie, partying, biker, welfare recipient who is ridiculously pleased that his daughters take after him (while still being angels at the same time...because in Bob's eyes, they can do no wrong). Between no-good, violent Bob and his five slutty, sinister, sneaky S-named daughters, the neighborhood is pretty much doomed.
All this is being told by a comatose Skunk, although we really don't know why she's in a coma until she catches up to that part of the story. Which I won't tell you about because then you'd know what happens.
The cover totally contrasts with the story inside, and remains my favorite part of the book. I found Bob to be way too cliched...he's like every bad stereotype all rolled into one character. Same for his daughters. The story was an interesting ride, but I don't know that I'd go around recommending it to just everyone.