Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Penguin Luck - Kay Mupetson

Well, from the cover I thought I was in for a chick lit read. Sassy photo, cute font and a photo of a stuffed penguin on the back cover.

Penguin Luck opens with Doreen Lowe, a young attorney on the subway....with her ghosts - three spirits of child Holocaust victims, who insist that Doreen 'carry on for them' and that they 'must be replaced.' I was caught off guard had to reread to confirm. The Penguins are Doreen's name for her balding, waddling male relatives (father and uncle) that survived the Holocaust.

Back to the chick lit elements - engaged to the wrong man, marries someone else spontaneously, female friends as the supporting cast - one very outgoing, one reticent. This alone would have made an entertaining book.

But the combining of this light hearted fodder with the serious story of a woman coming to terms with her Jewish heritage and family's Holocaust history was especially jarring. Again, this storyline on it's own would have been a good novel.

The two just didn't mesh for me. It was choppy and didn't flow freely. Mupetson is an attorney and was counsel for a telecommunications company. Guess what Doreen and her husband work at? It almost seemed like Mupetson has taken vignettes from her personal life and inserted them into a novel format. I found the minute details of the telecommunications deals, history, promos and takeovers boring and skipped most of them.

The story 'jumps' in many places, covering the time period from 1989 to 2002. At the end, it seemed almost rushed in order to tie it all up with a bow.

Too much, too busy, too contrived. Some of the prose were incredibly awkward. For example - remembering a friend who has died. "Tears came to my eyes as a vision looped through my neural organ."

Many lawyers have turned to novel writing with varied verdicts. I think you can guess mine, but here are some other arguments.

Bookjourney, Bookbinge, Momma's Gone Over the Wall, Adventures of a SWAHM, Alexia's Books and Such.


Karen Jones Gowen said...

Wow, I won't be reading this book. Even though I adore chick lit, and I also have a passion for Jewish literature and like that theme of coming to terms with the holocaust and what it meant for their culture, I can't imagine doing them both in the same novel. No no no. What were her editors thinking?

Kaye said...

"looped through my neural organ"? Guess the author never heard of the "k.i.s.s" theory

Emidy @ Une Parole said...

Ugh, I totally understand what you're saying! Those two things just don't go together. I did enjoy your review, though! Very well-written.

Une Parole

Anna said...

Sorry this was a disappointing read, but I appreciate your honest assessment...especially since I will be reading it soon.

Diary of an Eccentric

Luanne said...

I'll be waiting to see what you thoght Anna!