I really enjoyed this novel. It is a satire on family relationships, consumerism, Big Pharma and marriage, among other topics. Veblen Thorstein, the protagonist, is a very sympathetic character – confused, vulnerable and determined to be honest with herself. The plot gallops along, the book being warm and witty, fantastical but also richly human.
There is some lovely writing too, such as this:
“It was madness born of a surplus of feeling, that’s all. As a girl, visiting a farm on a school trip, Veblen fed hardened corn cobs to a crowd of gnashing hogs and felt the terror of the tug of their mouths. She saw a calf being born, watched it licked by its mother into standing, and heard the busy cluck of chickens, extruding their eggs. She survived a goose peck to the leg and combed the glorious main of a mare. Indeed, the day seemed to portend a future so full of riches, on the school bus coming back, she found herself bawling her eyes out. “I like that farm so much,” she said, surprising her teacher, who only wanted to comfort her for something simple, like an earache or a scraped knee.”
Isn’t that gorgeous?