Monday, January 13, 2014

Sunday Brunch

Sunday Brunch at Gabi's
Yesterday my book group met to have brunch and discuss the book Memoir of the Sunday Brunch by Julia Pandl.

The brunch was delicious and the discussion was lively; however, most of us had serious reservations about the book. In my opinion, shared by several others, the book was awkwardly written, repetitive, full of suggestions that didn't go anywhere, and inconsistent in style. There were passages that read like writing workshop exercises, just dropped in place without any explanation. One of my friends pointed out that the theme of brunch that predominated in the beginning chapters, then was forgotten for a while, and made a brief reappearance, contributing to a lack of coherence.

The emotions the author described were raw, clearly showing how she had been a child or young adolescent who didn't know a lot of what was happening to her, and later showing an adult floundering as she dealt with the sad deaths of her parents. Unfortunately, she did little or nothing to shape these emotional passages into a well-written narrative. Some of us felt that an editor would have helped; Gabi, our discussion leader and hostess, had researched the history of the book and thought that the editing gap was due to the original self-publication of the work. That is, Pandl published without editing herself or profiting from a professional editor. Several people in the group, nevertheless, felt that the authenticity of the emotional content made up for the lack of smooth writing. I think we all felt that the book simply failed to live up to expectations for a published memoir -- even one describing confusion and emotional issues.


~~louise~~ said...

Too bad about the book, Mae. However, your group brunch looks most inviting. Thanks for sharing...

Jeanie said...

Interesting point about the research and self-publication. A friend of mine is doing a lot of writing and it has some good potential. He says he has researched well, but I'm not always so sure. I think you nailed it when you consider the resources and totally objective eye that an outside publisher would bring.

Too bad the book was disappointing. The title is great!