By December 6, 2010 0 Comments Read More →

Possible Pick: Elegies for the Brokenhearted

Christie Hodgen’s Elegies for the Brokenhearted has lots to offer for discussion.  There is her unusual story structure:  a life, told though deaths.  The novel is broken down into five long stories, all about people who have touched the life of the narrator, Mary.  As we move through the stories, Hodgen deftly weaves Mary’s  coming-of-age story as well as introducing characters you’re not likely to soon forget.

There’s Mary’s Uncle Mike, doted on by his sisters but destined to be alone; a loner from Mary’s school days, Elwood, whose story reveals the harsh life Mary’s lived; her college roommate, Carson, a troubled girl with secrets and a hard life of her own; a musician named James, who might be Mary’s last link to her runaway sister; and finally, Mary’s mother Margaret, married 5 times.

Hodgen does a fantastic job creating all of these characters while at the same time, focusing on her narrator and weaving her heartbreaking story.  Themes of love, loss, choice, fate, and family abound, making for some great discussion points.




About the Author:

Rebecca Vnuk is the editor for Collection Management and Library Outreach at Booklist. She is also the author of 3 reader’s-advisory nonfiction books: Read On…Women’s Fiction (2009), Women’s Fiction: A Guide to Popular Reading Interests (2014), and Women’s Fiction Authors: A Research Guide (2009). Follow her on Twitter at @Booklist_RVnuk.

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