Goldberg Variations - Susan Isaacs
I won this book through a Goodreads First Reads giveaway.

It took a bit to get into, but once the perspectives were switching up I was hooked. I love how switching perspectives shows how different characters are from each other and how different they view the same thing. I think it's a great technique but wicked hard to pull off.

I'm all about characters. That's what this whole book is about, the end all be all. There's some drama, but it's rehashing and reopening old wounds. We hear about how grandma ran off, but aren't there when it happens. The consequences are all that matters. Action in this book is dinners, drives and conversation minefields. It's a weekend at a grandmother's house, which none of the three close cousins had really met before. Basically, lots and lots of talking and observations. If that's not your thing, then pass over this book. But for those of us who revel in getting to know characters and their relationships inside out and around whether or not there's action happening, this is such a good book.

I don't really have any problems with the characters, or really any problems with this book at all. The characters felt authentic. The situation and reactions felt real. The settings were described well. It was finely written and the conversation lively.

I love little details, which these characters offer up in spades. Each has their own take, their own little things to point out and bring up. They go on tangents and their thoughts wander about. I enjoyed it but I can see how some people would find this kind of thing tedious and boring.

I think the parallels this book draws up are so interesting. Like how Gloria was treated by people when they hear the name Goldberg and how she reacted, and how Raquel was treated by people when they hear the name Goldberg and her reactions. How Matthew views Raquel as being too sensitive to racial issues, and how her perspective shows it to matter more than Matthew credits. I find these kinds of things fascinating.

Based on the cover, the blurb and the fact that I've never heard of this author before probably means I wouldn't have picked this book up, if I hadn't won it in a giveaway. I'm glad I did. It's not terribly long and I appreciate the journey. The ending felt abrupt to me for some reason. I think it's a good solid book, if you are into this type of thing. It was an enjoyable quick enough read for me and because of it, I'm going to look into picking up more of Susan Issac's books.