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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Broken Teaglass by Emily Arsenault

The Broken Teaglass was a Christmas present from Mr. Beadgirl, and just what I needed during the Christmas season -- not too heavy, not too light, intriguing, and a quick read.

The plot starts when Billy and Mona, editors at a dictionary company, discover in the company's citation files references to a mysterious book, "The Broken Teaglass," one that does not appear to exist anywhere else. The mystery of what the book is doing there is resolved rather quickly, and in a non-surprising way, much to my disappointment. But this is the only complaint I have; the mystery as to the contents of the "Broken Teaglass" (rather than its form) is satisfying.

Of course, in a novel like this the mystery is only part of the point. The oddball characters Arsenault created are engaging, and the slow reveal of what's going on with Billy (for lack of a better way to state it) is well done. And on yet another level, this is a book about storytelling -- the stories we tell each other and ourselves, the reasons why we tell (or don't), and who "owns" the stories once told. I look forward to reading more by Arsenault.

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