Jun 27, 2017
Book Review: The Confusion of Languages by Siobhan Fallon
All of Cassie's warnings fall on deaf ears until an incident occurs and Margaret sets out on her own under an innocent pretense. leaving Cassie behind to watch over Margaret's toddler until she returns. While waiting Cassie finds Margaret's journal and against better judgement starts reading. What she learns about Margaret's life since arriving in Jordan frightens Cassie and as more time passes, she is more sure than ever that something terrible has happened.
The plot of this debut is not complicated, but the locale and the cultural themes makes it very interesting and extremely relevant to out times. Americans soldiers being stationed in the Middle East, sometimes with their families in tow, can be complicated and dangerous especially with tensions running high. This brings an unquestionable authenticity to this novel. Most of the story takes place in one day with flashes in time as the journal is read and memories being called out. It's a clever way to tell the story, but admittedly, it was a bit frustrating to me because I wanted to stay in the present and find out what was happening. There are other layers to the story as well: jealousy, secrets, and marital discord.
I found the characters in this book to be genuine and believable, though I connected more with Cassie because, like her, I'm a rule follower and I'm also not a parent, not by my own choice.
The bottom line: I think this is a impressive debut about a subject that hasn't been over-saturated. It was realistic, current and the layout was well thought out. Siobhan Fallon is an accomplished writer and award-winner for her short stories. She has actually lived in Jordan and currently resides in Abu Dhabi, which explains the authenticity in her writing. And one final observation, I think the title is perfectly accurate.
THE CONFUSION OF LANGUAGES
Author: Siobhan Fallon
Publisher: GP Putnam's Sons
Sold by: Penguin Group (USA)
Publish Date: June 27, 2017
Length: 333 pp