Land of Love and Drowning – Tiphanie Yanique

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I hated this book. HATED. It was so twisted and disturbing, and not in a good way. I picked this book up because it was on nearly every “best books of the year” list I saw and the description sounded interesting. It seemed like my kind of book. Romantic relationships, familial relationships, magic, all sorts of twists and turns. And to be fair, it had all of that, but in the worst way possible.

I don’t even want to get into the plot because even though I read this over Christmas it still leaves a bad taste in my mouth when I think of it. Some of the issues I had include parental sexual activity with children, incest of the sibling variety, manipulation, et cetera. On top of these issues, the characters were completely unlikable. Every single one. They were manipulative, which I already mentioned, adulterous, mentally unstable (can’t really blame them for that one when their parent was sexually abusing them), lying, strange, obnoxious, and just icky. Blech.

Basically the book is set in the U.S. Virgin Islands, focusing on a set of siblings. When the sisters’ parents die, the older sister is left to look after her younger sister and to look out for their half brother. The little sister and little brother are inexplicable drawn together and bad things follow.

Okay I’m not even going to go past that because it just really disturbed me and I don’t want to get into it. I realize this is almost embarrassingly short but nope I just can’t do it. I’m definitely willing to acknowledge that this is an important book. It deals with racial, sexual, and ethnic issues. It takes place during the time of the U.S. taking control of the VIrgin Islands, during World War Two, during the depression. The plot covers all of these issues and more. I am more than willing to acknowledge that there are people who will very much enjoy this book. And that this book should be read. But it just wasn’t for me. Despite its dipping its toes in magical waters, this book was much too real for me. Sexual abuse, poverty, racism, and sexism among other things all combined to make a story that I just couldn’t escape in.

Have you read this book? Did you hate it too? Is there a book that you hate equally as much as I hated this one? Tell me in the comments!

Now that we’re through with the book related things, I’m going to cheer us (read: me) up a bit with a fun dad joke! Wahoo! Today’s bad/dad joke comes to you from a seven year old who told it to me at work…

What do you call a bear with no teeth? A gummy bear!

Ha! Okay bye.

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