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Carthage - Joyce Carol Oates

Had a hard time with this one, there were many parts I liked but at the same time I felt this was to wordy. Using stream of consciousness in some places, and a narrative voice in others, this novel is told in many different voices. The father, both daughters, the mother and the war veteran suffering from PTSD. When their 19 yr. old daughter goes missing, the last person seen with her is the vet. Her older sister's ex- fiance, he has come back terrifically wounded from the war, both mentally and psychically. As these characters tell their stories, one realizes how differently family members see each other, and more and more is revealed. Stream of consciousness works very well with the Veteran, one can truly see into his mind, his confusion, his pain and his terror.

Oates is a very prolific writer but her books are not easy to read, there is always so much going on under the surface. I was intrigued enough to keep reading, wanted to see where this book was going, and I did like how it ended. I still do not understand the missing daughters motivation, think she was confused and I know she felt she was misunderstood by everyone. Despite the fact that I found this wordy, it did make me think about how little we actually know of the people we live with . How many things we do can be misconstrued. So in this way the book was a success. I have had a love-hate relationship with this author's books for many years, but I have to give her credit because she writes a wide variety of novels, many different subjects. I look forward to seeing what she tackles next.