Alright ladies! I think I’m overdue for another round of Overrated Reads. First of all, I know what you’re thinking when you see that Underground Railroad made this list. I’m just as shocked and disappointed (it won ALL THE AWARDS! And it’s an Oprah pick! I know. I know). In fact, I’m so dispirited, that I’m saving it for last.
Trail of Broken Wings by Sejal Badani
I… don’t even know where to get started on this. Let me state for the record it started out strong and the plot seemed really intriguing, albeit very heavy. It’s about an Indian family, who immigrated to America to give their 3 daughters a better life. Though, it’s much harder than the father expected, he quickly turns bitter, nasty, and begins physically abusing his wife and 2 of his 3 daughters. He spares from laying a hand on one daughter, which naturally strains the relationship with the two sisters. Fast forward 30 years or so. The father is now in a coma. A decision needs to be made — do they pull the plug?
This broken family comes together to deal with their dying father and their feelings about him. Of course, it’s a pretty depressing, yet real topic, and I think a more skilled writer would’ve been able to handle it. 0/10 for character development. 0/10 for pacing. 0/10 for back-stories that enhanced the present story-line. It was just… a dramatic MESS of a book with terrible, shitty, unlikable characters with ZERO redeeming qualities. It went downhill after the first 30 pages or so. Which was disappointing, but laughable by the end. Oh, btw needs to be mentioned. The father, a 10th+ generation Indian was named Brent. ????? LOL WHAT?!
Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
I’m a huge Ann Patchett fan, but I couldn’t get into Bel Canto, and that was a bit… disappointing. And a tad shocking. I LOVE ANN PATCHETT. I thought about it for a while, and realized I didn’t enjoy it — not because of the rich and perfectly developed characters, or beautiful poem-like writing — but because I really disliked the plot line.
The story was loosely based on the incident that occurred at the Japanese embassy in Lima, Peru in December 1996. A terrorist organization called Tupac Amaru took over and held captives for months before the operation ended. Patchett’s version had similarities, but also, a lot of opera, and I just… didn’t like it. Didn’t care for it. I’m not giving up on Patchett because of this, and definitely plan on reading a future novel of hers.
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
This was a book club pick with my small BC of three. We chose it for obvious reasons — it won ALL THE AWARDS and has been raved about for so long. Especially by Oprah. HOWEVER… two of us were bored to tears with this book while the third member of our little BC felt it was great.
Let me state for the record that I feel super guilty about how much I disliked this book, because it tackles such a tragic and heartbreaking topic. But oh man. The last 1/3 of the book felt like a chore. And I probably would’ve called it quits after the first 100 pages, but I definitely couldn’t do that since it was a BC book. I powered through, and I think I would’ve been better off if I didn’t. The writing was so detached and cold. It was so boring, and it seemed to branch off into meaningless side-stories that added zero value to the central plot. It wasn’t enjoyable for me, but again, I have mad guilt saying that because of the topic. But oh man…
And that concludes this round of Overrated Reads. Thanks so much for reading, and see you next time!