Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Bristles Aside, The Porcupine is a Harmless Creature

I finish reading Butterfly Porcupine by Susan Francis. My response to this book baffles me. As someone who writes I can get picky about stupid things. In the beginning, so much exposition. That's what I'm thinking. Then those back and forth scenes between Tasha and Kai that cover the same ground. I'm like, hmm. Finally, the prologue—okay, I confess—doesn't thrill me, but there's that interesting point about Natasha (Tasha) Wood growing up in Trinidad.

What can I say, I love reading about foreign countries even if I've never had a chance to travel there, maybe more so when I've never had a chance to travel there. Other cultures fascinate me.

Gradually, this book sucks me right in. I finish it in about twenty-four hours spread over two days…

The first thing that hooks me is the rhythm. It's steady, but not heavy or droning. Something like a flutter, maybe a heartbeat. Whatever, it's sheer reading pleasure, this rhythm. Everything paced, even, nothing rushed.

Tasha grows on me. She's not easy to get to know. She's a bit sensitive, self-conscious, very reserved. By the time my kindle is showing 40% I'm wondering why I have to read Kai's bits.

Then somewhere along the way I stop being irritated when their points of view cover the same ground.

When did that happen?

Not sure.

There are thoughtful, insightful perspectives woven into the story. How teenagers segregate themselves, how they deal with their problems in constructive and not so constructive ways, how they self-destruct and re-construct themselves, how they reveal themselves. And I really like that these two teenagers, Tasha and Kai, have families with problems. Broken families functioning as best as they can, and yet as-best-as-they-can wears on everyone involved.

My favorite part of the book is the very last section of Chapter Thirty-Three. I won't give it away because it's the end—right before the epilogue. A big smile burst on my face and I got a little chill.



I love love love how the quotes for Part One and Part Two pull the story together in a poetic way along with that intriguing title: Butterfly Porcupine.