Review: Cornflakes by Christiane Tann
When I first started reading this book, I didn’t have any real expectations except that I would probably struggle through it, since it’s not one of my typical reading genres. I’m not overly excited about period pieces, so when I opened the book, I was afraid the only good thing I would have to say, is that the font fits the timeframe. The book structure is alternating main characters and separated into time frames, which, unfortunately, is a format I struggle with. I find it hard to follow, and I always have to skip back to the beginning of the chapter to remind myself what time frame the author is working with.
Determined to give this book a review as unbiased as possible, I dove into it. As I expected, I had a difficult time following the parallel storylines of the two main characters, and that didn’t change until their stories intertwined. This was not the author’s fault, merely my difficulty. The story started clicking into place for me once the two storylines merged, and I could go back with a clearer understanding to reread parts I had difficulty with. Once I could do this, I was able to see how masterfully the author created these two stories outside of each other. Toward the end, it was easy to see, and fun to trace, the 6 degrees of separation between the two lives.
One thing that made it easy for me to keep reading was that Ms. Tann has a wonderfully descriptive quality of writing, and when the characters walk into a room, you’re transported there with them. Speaking of characters, each character Ms. Tann wrote was fully fleshed out, and even if you didn’t know their backstory, you knew they had one. If you are one who has a hard time following stories with too many characters, you won’t have that problem here. Each character was distinctly different, and even if you couldn’t remember their name, you knew who they were as soon as they stepped on the page.
This story snuck up on me. I was about halfway through with it when I realized it had hooked me, and I had to finish reading it in one sitting. There was absolutely no way I could put it down and walk away until I finished. Honestly, even then, I didn’t want to walk away.
Lucky and Nina both have such beautifully tragic lives. It broke my heart. I was so enmeshed in the story I got high when Lucky was driving, biting my lips and urging his car along with him and cried along with Nina as she walked through the gloomy streets with a broken soul and broken body.
This story is a beautiful, emotional rollercoaster with an ending that comes out of nowhere. When I finally put the book down, I felt like I had lost a close friend. Ms. Tann did a wonderful job crafting her debut novel, and I, for one, am looking forward to reading more from this talented author. 5-Stars.