Book review: Larry’s Party

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Author:Carol Shields
Reading Level (Conceptual):For grown-ups
Reading Level (Vocabulary):For grown-ups
Year of publication:1997

Larry Weller is a pretty ordinary guy, who has fallen into a profession, also his obsession, as a designer of labyrinths. In this novel, Carol Shields, whose work always captivates me, tells Larry's story, from cradle through a momentous mid-life party. (See also my review of Unless.)

Shields convincingly explains how Larry falls into his first marriage and a career as a floral designer, then transitions to a marriage of more depth with a feminist scholar, and steers toward his bliss as a master maze designer.

We learn that one can wander through one's life as if in a maze, and find treasures in unexpected places. Although, since we are highly aware that a maze designer may have carefully planned our discoveries, we can't be sure that we come across the treasures we find by chance.

Very lovely, although the physical descriptions of marital life go on and on and a bit too poetically for my taste.

-- Emily Berk

If you found this review helpful and/or interesting, consider supporting our book habit: Buy this book!: Larry's Party

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