The Book of Dahlia: A Novel by Elisa Albert
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
It's hard to like Dahlia. She is an angry young woman with no direction who has a brain tumor and is dying. Using the convention of a list of 'helpful' hints for those suffering from a terminal illness, each chapter sets Dahlia off on an answering description of her life.
"She was just a collection of likes and dislikes, like every other human being, just a jumble of experiences and reactions and prejudices and insecurities and biases, stubborn and incorrect, stupid and tormented. Feelings and feelings and more feelings. Where would they go?"
Perhaps because I went through a hospice situation with a friend last year at this time and the fact that my brother now has cancer, I was particularly susceptible to this story. It has been years since I sobbed over a book's ending. Dahlia's voice is unique and the writing is sharp and perceptive.
This is 4/10 of the best books of 2008 as recommended by Entertainment Weekly that I have sworn to read during 2009.
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