What I Happen to Be Reading At the Moment

"A thirteen-year-old is a kaleidoscope of different personalities, if not in most ways a mere figment of her own imagination. At that age, what and who you are depends largely on what book you happen to be reading at the moment.”

 

While not 13 anymore, the desire to read almost anything and everything in order to read for fun and for experience is still around. I'm currently working on my PhD in a physical science, but I love to read and books are one of my non-science hobbies.

Persecution - Alessandro Piperno, Ann Goldstein I received a copy of this novel through the GoodReads First Reads program, and greatly appreciate the opportunity to review this book. Persecution, aptly subtitled "The Friendly Fire of Memories", by Alessandro Piperno, starts of with a major revelation. Leo Pontecorvo is accused of having an affair with his young son's girlfriend. The age of girlfriend: 12. Pontecorvo is strung up in the media as the narration recounts his memories of events leading up to the alleged incident and afterwords. The reader does not get a definitive answer in this volume (first in a slated two novel pairing according to the front cover flap) as to whether or not Pontecorvo is a child molester, but we are given insight into a fairly unhealthy individual. Pontecorvo's need for acceptance, importance of self image, and inability to deal with confrontation could be attributed to one of the many reasons the narrator recalls throughout Pontecorvo's consideration of what brought him to this point in his life. Pontecorvo suffers from an overbearing and manipulative mother, though his parents also made the move to Switzerland during the beginning of World War II. Pontecorvo is a pediatric oncologist but can't deal effectively with his own children. He immediately goes into hiding in the basement of his house when he hears news of the rape accusation on TV, and does not leave except to hire a lawyer (with his own unique set of insecurities) and for a short stay in jail. When the reader finally learns of Pontecorvo's hallucinations of his mother and father that comfort him in jail, the reader becomes fairly certain that this man is certifiable. What makes this novel stand out from other novels centered around the recounting of a crime (ie Atonement) is that the narrator both can recall Pontecorvo's inner most thoughts, as well as Pontecorvo's wife and to some extent their sons, while also maintaining the impression that the narrator knows something that he or she is not sharing. The novel's ending is followed by a "To be continued" (and in Comic Sans, the only fault in an otherwise beautifully designed book) indicating that we will one day find out what exactly happened with the 12-year-old girl and caused the implosion of an outwardly successful man.

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