I love Dorothy Allison! A really good, enjoyable read. She is a great writer.
Normally I love Dorothy Allison, but this book just didn't do it for me. Not only was the story molasses slow, but the characters were wholly unlikeable, and the plot was muddled, like the writer was had no idea where the story should go. It just sort of... ended. Like she got sick of it. It reminded me of those exercises you did in English class where you had to write non stop for 10 minutes just to see what you could come up with. I was disappointed and will not read this book again. If you want quality Allison work, read Bastard out of Carolina. It was such a good book that Hollywood could not even destroy the movie.
This book is one of those that is written with such a richness not only of language, but also of story line, that you want to read it slowly. I had to read it twice so that I could glean out some of the impressions that I tend to miss when I read too fast. I highly recommend this novel.
Cavedweller tells the story of a mother and her three daughters living in Cayro, Georgia. The mother, Delia, ran away from Georgia to escape her abusive husband, which also meant leaving her two daughters, Amanda and Dede, behind. In the 10 years that she as away, Delia built a new life for herself in Los Angeles, which including joining a band, becoming a famous singer/songwriter, and having a third daughter, Cissy. However, even though she saved herself from the abuse, Delia was overwhelmed with the need to go back to Georgia, reclaim her daughters, and make a life of her own.
When Delia returns to the small town with Cissy, the situation she left behind has changed, but her problems are not resolved. Amanda and Dede harbor a significant amount of resentment because they were abandoned, as does the rest of Cayro, but Delia is determined to win back their love and her rights as a mother, regardless of how the town feels about her decisions. Dorothy Allison does a wonderful job explaining the complicated motivations of each character and the inner turmoil that each decision creates, so the reader is always left wondering who s/he would do in each characters place.
The book is extremely well-written, and the plot is very engaging. Allison successfully carries the reader through the lives of these four women. However, unlike in The Bastard Out of Carolina where the reader cant help but wince at the physical and emotional pain that is inflicted upon the main character, Allison doesnt actual make the reader feel the suffering and the struggle that each character experiences, so there is always a feeling of wanting more. It is a flaw that keeps the reader from becoming fully lost the powerful story, but not enough of a problem to make the novel unenjoyable.
It's not Bastard Out Of Carolina but the dialogue is snappy and real and the characters are characters.