Homer's Travels: Book: Heather Lende's "If You Lived Here, I'd Know Your Name"

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Book: Heather Lende's "If You Lived Here, I'd Know Your Name"

I was looking for something lighter to read and I found it in Heather Lende's "If You Lived Here, I'd Know Your Name: News from Small-Town Alaska".  The book is a collection of stories about Haines, Alaska told by Lende, a long time resident of Haines.

I really wanted to like this book.  I was looking for tales of small town Alaska and that is what I got but from a rather strange point of view.  One of Lende's job is to write obituaries for the weekly newspaper.  Nearly every chapter of this book is centered around a death.  This is not exactly the type of stories I was looking for.

To give her credit, the author writes about death with a light tone and you can almost feel her smile come through in her words.  It is obvious that she loves Haines but I wish she would have approached it more from the living and less from the dead.

This is a relatively short book - 280 pages or so - but it still took me nearly three weeks to finish it.  I had difficulty keeping my interest.  I really wanted to like this book since Lende seems like such a nice, down to earth person, but I came out feeling like there was no 'there' there.

Note:  This is where I would recommend or not recommend the book.  I'm going to stop doing that.  Different people have different tastes and just because I liked it ... or didn't ... doesn't mean everyone will agree with my opinion.

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