Unfortunately, I have not made it to Fever Chart and have only finished about half of The Lacuna. I guess I hope that Fever Chart wins so that I can read it before it gets ousted.
The Lacuna, so far, is good. Kingsolver is an excellent writer, she can be dazzling with metaphors, and she keeps you interested. The problem I have so far is that I am more interested in the secondary characters than in the primary character. I suspect he takes on a larger role as the second half gets under way, but Trotsky, Frida (the famous painter), and Diego Rivera (the famous painter) have completely stolen the show.
In this way, it shares a mixing of actual history with imagined history with several other TOB contenders. It is not my favorite of those and, I suspect, it will have difficulty cracking the top half of my personal best of TOB 2010 list. While Kingsolver has some great metaphors, she tends to overwrite on occasion. Pushing too hard to make a metaphor where a simple description would do. The story has kept me engaged, but I am doubting Kingsolver’s ability to make magic out of the ingredients she has put in so far. Perhaps I have too little faith.
So, being strangely underwhelmed by Kingsolver’s very competent and quite good book, I am hoping Fever Chart is better. I am hoping I have time to read it before it exits the Tournament. It is from a small press; it’s from a new author with a decent story; it’s the kind of book you can cheer for sight unseen. I will.
Go, Fever Chart!