MARY AND O’NEIL by Justin Cronin (is my Boyfriend)Posted: December 18, 2012
WHAT THE BOOK IS ABOUT:
So you see Justin Cronin’s name on the cover and you instantly assume that Mary must be a glowing green vampire-zombie thing and O’Neil the monster hunter who has sworn to kill her and all her kind.
Because that’s what Cronin, author of horror-apocalypse bestsellers The Passage and The Twelve, writes about. Right?
YES but also NO. Back before Cronin was writing about monsters and the people who love to kill them he was writing about the quiet joys and tragedies of domestic life. Before he was Stephen King’s The Stand-ing it he was all about getting his Elizabeth Strout’s Olive Kitteridge on.
Mary and O’Neil follows a destined-to-be-wed couple pre-meeting through the birth of several children. This novel in stories is bookended by tragedies (and there are some more tragedies in the middle) but bolstered by the joys of weddings and children and small happinesses of domestic life with the one you love. It’s slice of life but it is slice of life observed so finely it’s as if Cronin’s brain were the literary equivalent of a CAT scan.
It’s also SKINNY BONES. 243 pages, word. Perfect for when you just want to read a book in an afternoon. If you want to pair it with another skinny bones read, Glaciers by Alexis Smith would be an ab-fab choice.
If you just want to get your domestic drama and good literary writing on, this is your jam.
WHAT KIND OF BOYFRIEND IS HE: One that skews melancholy without being a depressive, the kind of boyfriend you can sit in a room with for hours drinking tea and reading without it being awkward. You can also wake him up at three in the morning to talk about something that’s bothering you and he’ll only be a little bit annoyed.
MY DATE WITH “MARY AND O’NEIL”
We’re very slice of life on my couch drinking our coffee and non-caffeinated tea.
Kisses for domesticity!
Hey, PS. completely forgot my jeans were ripped until after I looked at these photos. Maybe it’ll give me, like, some edge or street cred. I really need both those things.