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Review: The Original 1982 by Lori Carson

11 Jun

Original 1982My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

There were many things I did like about this book, but some aspects didn’t quite jell for me.

Summary via Goodreads:

It’s 1982, and Lisa is twenty-four years old, a waitress, an aspiring singer-songwriter, and girlfriend to a famous Latin musician. That year, she makes a decision, almost without thinking about it.

But what if what if her decision had been a different one?

In the new 1982, Lisa chooses differently. Her career takes another direction. She becomes a mother. She loves differently, yet some things remain the same.

Alternating between two very different possibilities, The Original 1982 is a novel about how the choices we make affect the people we become-and about how the people we are affect the choices we make.

The first thing that intrigued me was the premise of life done differently. The first book I encountered that suggested this approach was Penelope Lively’s Making it Up, which was well written and interesting, but didn’t deliver on that promise to me. The Original 1982 does that, presenting the choice that changes things, and marking out a new path (and comparing it to the old) that follows that decision.

I liked Lisa, the main character, in both versions of her life, and both paths were interesting, and completely different than any life I’ve seen.. She was surrounded by people that I wanted to get to know, and a few I didn’t, but I liked reading about anyway. I enjoyed the author’s writing. The book was written as a letter to a daughter that never was, and that choice resonated with me.

My biggest problem was that I wanted more, from both of the paths. Big issues were touched on, then the story moved on. Relationships were introduced, but not explored.

The second problem was that I didn’t entirely buy the new path, and I can’t tell if that was deliberate. Was I learning from this that Lisa is deceiving herself about what her life would have been like, or did the author fail to construct a life I could buy into? How much is the original life based on the author’s real life, and is the new life her personal wish, or does it belong only to the character of Lisa?

I enjoyed reading the book, and I’d love to have the chance to argue some of these questions with someone else that read it– I think it would be a very interesting book club choice.

I read this book as part of a TLC Book Tour, and was provided a copy of the book to read and review.  For other opinions on this book, visit the other tour stops:
TLC Book Tours

 
4 Comments

Posted by on June 11, 2013 in books, reviews, tour

 

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4 responses to “Review: The Original 1982 by Lori Carson

  1. Monika (@lovelybookshelf)

    June 11, 2013 at 2:27 pm

    What a great premise. Thanks for reviewing this one!

     
  2. Heather J. @ TLC

    June 15, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    I can see that this would be a great book club choice – people could keep discussing this one for HOURS!

    Thanks for being on the tour.

     
  3. Tiki Tamer

    August 31, 2013 at 1:10 am

    The plot sounds a bit like the film Sliding Doors.http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120148/?ref_=sr_1. I enjoyed the film so will try the book too.

     
  4. Sue Jackson

    October 15, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    Oh, I like this kind of set-up – reminds me of the movie Sliding Doors with Gwyneth Paltrow – how a single decision can change a whole life.

    Thanks for the review – I agree – sounds perfect for discussion!

    Sue

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