Saturday, July 13, 2013

there was an old woman by Hallie Ephron

There was an old woman (I'm annoyed the publisher opted not to capitalize the title but that doesn't reflect on the book's content) by Hallie Ephron delves into a world of old grudges, secrets, and wrongs that have never been set right. Ephron creates characters the reader wants to like but doesn't and characters the reader wants to hate but doesn't. Even her most unlikable characters show some sign of redemption however slight and her most likable characters prove to have flaws. I felt uncomfortable at times as I read there was an old woman because Ephron demonstrates how ridiculous people tend to treat the elderly by making assumptions rather than paying attention. Ephron weaves a mystery through the pages with the ease of exploring a life story rather than hitting the reader with a slew of gratuitous violence. I cheered on Mrs. Yetner and wanted to smack her nephew, Brian. Evie alternately annoyed and inspired me. At times I wanted to scream at her to open her eyes because she seemed to miss things right in front of her. Other times she seemed to figure things out faster than she should. And, she also did a few things that just seemed too thoughtless for someone of her intelligence like dropping a pair of glasses through a mail slot, but those things made her more human. There was an old woman reminded me how important it is to be respectful of one another and to keep a watch on how we allow stereotypes to influences our thoughts and behaviors. Ephron creates characters the reader wants to know more about. There was an old woman puts the reader into the hearts and minds of its characters as it immerses the reader in the world they inhabit.
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