Saturday, August 13, 2011
Outside The Ordinary World - a review
As a child, growing up in a Seventh Day Adventist family in California, Sylvia is asked to be complicit in hiding her mother's affair. She vows never to become her mother, but then, just when her husband is engrossed in a major home renovation project, she meets Tai...
Outside the Ordinary World, the debut novel of Dori Ostermiller, explores the complexity of mother-daughter relationships and how secrets can have an impact down generations. It looks at the devastating power of unexpected attraction in middle-age and above all it examines the burden of guilt; marital guilt, family guilt and religious guilt.
Outside the Ordinary World is literary women's fiction and as such is more character than plot-driven. Dori Ostermiller writes beautiful prose which is fluid and sensory, with evocative description which occasionally moves into dark areas. The story switches effortlessly between California in the 1970's, when Sylvia and her sister Ali were growing up, and New England of the present day, where Sylvia and her husband Nathan are raising their own daughters.
I absolutely loved it and will certainly be looking out for future books by Dori Ostermiller.
(Thanks to MIRA for giving me the opportunity to review this book, which is released on 17 August)