Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Tuesday Nights in 1980

by Molly Prentiss
Oct 8-Nov 1, 2016

Art. New York City. The 1980s. Some of my very favorite things. These subjects alone are what drew me to this book. The melodic tone of the author's words were enough to keep me until the end. But the dust jacket describes it as "risk-taking" prose. Um, how? I'd say no, not really.

The first chapter begins with a group of radicals in Buenos Aires, and continues in NYC for the next 80% of the story. By the time the subject of the radicals is brought up again, I nearly forgot about it. I had to go back and reread parts to get back on track. While I found the beginning a little slow, I soon found a rhythm and wanted to see what happened to the painter, the art critic and the muse. What I struggled with most was why the author chose 1980 as the point in time. This is Prentiss's debut novel, released this year, so what significance did 1980 hold, besides the SoHo art scene? She's only 32, so it's definitely not personal experience. I'm not sure why I had such a hard time with this fact – every novel needs a backdrop.

I'm reviewing this book as though I didn't enjoy it...but I did. I just didn't get a "wow" feeling that for some reason I was expecting. The ending was good too – not at all wrapped up in a neat little bow – but I don't think this book will stick with me like some do.

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