Good Reads description:
From the author of the nationwide best seller Dept. of Speculation–one of the New York Times Book Review‘s Ten Best Books of the Year–a shimmering tour de force about a family, and a nation, in crisis
Lizzie Benson slid into her job as a librarian without a traditional degree. But this gives her a vantage point from which to practice her other calling: she is a fake shrink. For years she has tended to her God-haunted mother and her recovering addict brother. They have both stabilized for the moment, but Lizzie has little chance to spend her new free time with husband and son before her old mentor, Sylvia Liller, makes a proposal. She’s become famous for her prescient podcast, Hell and High Water, and wants to hire Lizzie to answer the mail she receives: from left-wingers worried about climate change and right-wingers worried about the decline of western civilization. As Lizzie dives into this polarized world, she begins to wonder what it means to keep tending your own garden once you’ve seen the flames beyond its walls. When her brother becomes a father and Sylvia a recluse, Lizzie is forced to address the limits of her own experience–but still she tries to save everyone, using everything she’s learned about empathy and despair, conscience and collusion, from her years of wandering the library stacks . . . And all the while the voices of the city keep floating in–funny, disturbing, and increasingly mad.
Helen says: 🤓🤓🤓🤓
I was really excited to read this after devouring Dept. of Speculation a few years ago. Jenny Offill’s writing style is like a snapshot of an ADHD/depressed person’s mind. Written like a random stream of consciousness – you read it, move on to the next thought, and hope to remember it. It was written in a very concise style – so witty and quick. This book might not be for everyone, but I loved it!
Holly says: 🤓🤓🤓🤓1/4
If you enjoyed Jenny Offill’s Dept. of Speculation, you will enjoy this one too. I am a fan. Written in blips and quips and stream of consciousness, it is amazing what can be conferred in a few concise words, yet Offill entertains and moves, bringing the reader into Lizzie’s world and thoughts. There are some amazing quotable quotes. I kept trying to mark all of my favorite quotes by dog-earing the pages – by the time I had finished reading, the book would barely close. A few times I laughed out loud . Savor this one, don’t read too quickly or you will miss some choice quips. “Then one day I have to run to catch a bus. I am so out of breath when I get there that I know in a flash all my preparations for the apocalypse are doomed. I will die early and ignobly.” Although this book was written and published pre-pandemic, it is very current and relatable to the present day. I thoroughly enjoyed and highly recommend!