by Sandra Sookoo, contemporary (2010)
Liquid Silver Books, $5.75, ISBN 978-1-59578-768-2
Elijah Goodman is pretty much coerced and guilt-tripped by his mother to attend the family Hanukkah celebration this year. No matter, he decides to have a little payback by asking the cure cashier girl Brooke Langley as his date to the eighth day celebration. He's confident that his mother will not warm up to Brooke especially since Brooke is not Jewish. Well, so much for the best laid plans, as Brooke gets along with his family too well. Soon he finds himself wishing that he could get to stay in his life for as long as possible too.
The Eighth Day is a good example of how my reaction to the story is no doubt completely different from how the author intended me to react. I close this story feeling really sorry for Eli. His mother is very obnoxious and over the top: she calls him at 5am to nag him to attend an event that she volunteered him for, for example, without his consent. Brooke unfortunately comes off like a younger version of his mother, constantly bombarding with intrusive questions and telling him what to do. The poor man has no choice when it comes to being double-teamed by his mother and the woman he is infatuated on. Freud may be right in that men want to marry women who remind them of their mothers, and in this time, Freud is unfortunately right. Poor Eli.
Apart from that, I find that The Eighth Day suffers from plenty of conversations that feel stiff and occasionally false to me. These characters speak as if they are in a sitcom, and that style doesn't work in a book because there is no laugh tracks or exaggerated hand actions to drive home the hamminess of those lines.
The author has a pretty interesting plot for her story, but the execution isn't just there yet.
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