Sunday, October 16, 2005

So B. It

I am relieved that I enjoyed So B. It, since it was my suggestion. I don't remember why I picked it up, but it's been on my reading list for some months now. I'm glad I finally got to it.

So B. It is the name of Heidi's mother, who is mentally challenged and has a vocabulary of 23 words. Their neighbor, Bernadette, found them when Heidi was a baby, and has been caring for them these 12 years. Now, not knowing anything about her origins, Heidi goes in search of a definition for her mother's mysterious word: soof.

First of all, I liked Heidi. She's smart without knowing it, and sensitive and logical, but almost friendless. It's an appealing innocence and purity mixed with an unusual self-confidence. Heidi is admirable.

I also enjoyed the writing. Words were chosen carefully. There was foreshadowing and imagery. Everything I read had a purpose; there was no filler. I especially liked how Heidi would hear soof wherever she went.

Probably the least noticeable but most pleasant thing about the book is that none of the characters annoyed me. This happens more than it should. It seems like the popular thing to do lately in both books and TV is to create quirky characters. (Think "Gilmore Girls"). Most of the time, the quirky is fun and interesting, but sometimes it's taken too far. (Think Kirk.) Too much quirky becomes cliche.

It was simple, entertaining, and meaningful. I really enjoyed it.

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