Is there a certain topic that- no matter how well written a book- just gets under your skin and leaves you a little unhappy?
Last week, I finished a book- The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom- that had been pretty popular a few months back. I had a strange feeling as I read this book, one I couldn’t put my finger on. I wasn’t enjoying reading it. Was it written well? Yes, it was. Were the characters feel developed? Yes. Was it somewhat historically accurate? Yes it was. Why didn’t I like it?
Then I realized it wasn’t the book itself, but the topic of slavery. Don’t get me wrong- I can read about awful things and still really enjoy a book. I have read some books with tough topics-the Holocaust, sexual abuse, etc- that I though were amazing. So it’s not that. I do not need books to leave me with a shiny happy feeling. It is something about THIS topic that just gets under my skin. I read two other books over the past year- The Wedding Gift by and The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd- that were about slavery. They both bothered me. I really enjoyed The Invention of Wings– loved it actually, but I was still left uneasy by it. When I realized this pattern, it made me stop and think a little. What are some topics that bother other readers?
I don’t mean things you don’t like- easy romances, bad erotica, science fiction, etc. I mean a topic that can actually make you not enjoy a book even though it is actually a good book. After reading The Kitchen House, I realized that, while it was well written and had great characters, the whole history of slavery in this nation made it almost impossible for me to actually enjoy a book written about it accurately, which these books were! An author would literally have to change history for that to happen, The only book I actually like about slavery- Gone With the Wind- isn’t really about slavery at all. It’s actually a love story- loosely set on and around a southern plantation. Come to think about it, more than half of the book takes place away from Tara.
So, tell me- what really bothers you enough to prevent you from enjoying a book?