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Thursday, April 2, 2009

I See You Everywhere - Julia Glass

I recently found a hardback copy of I See You Everywhere by Julia Glass at the library near my work. Honestly I was just drawn in by the cover. For some reason I just love it. I've seen it around a bit because it's a pretty new novel. I didn't even know what it was about, but for a dollar fifty I thought, why not?

The story is about two sisters, Louisa and Clem. Louisa is the eldest by a few years. She's more reserved, creates pottery, and edits art magazines. She wants to find "the one" guy and have a family. Clem, on the other hand, is young and reckless. She always has a guy or two in the reserve. She studies wildlife and has exotic adventures in Patagonia, Alaska, and other places.

The story spans twenty-five years, from 1980 to 2005, with each chapter alternating perspectives from the sisters. It's usually during some crisis or another when we pop into their lives.

Honestly, I thought the writing was amazing...well usually. Sometimes her descriptions blew me away and her words just carried the novel. But it took me at least half of the book to get a somewhat good grasp on the sisters. I honestly liked both sisters but they both had faults. Louisa has a love/hate relationship with Clem, mainly stemming from jealousy. Clem always had it easy with guys and was always their mom's favorite. Clem seemed freewheeling but she always appeared to be running away from her jobs, her boyfriends...just constantly moving. And while the sisters are never truly close, they always seem to drift back together during a crises.

Something was missing that made me love this book. I think it was how slippery the characters were. I don't feel like I ever really knew them. And sometimes the writing was a bit confusing. For instance, she'd describe things with animal terms but during the chapters with Louisa, the art person, narrating. And it would sometimes take me a while into a chapter to realize it was about Clem or Louisa, so that made it a bit confusing.

But all in all I liked it. I have a sister so I sort of understand that love/hate/competition/support thing that sisters do. I'd recommend it for the writing which was usually just wonderful, the odd side characters, and the last few chapters which are just heart-wrenching.

Also Reviewed By:
S. Krishna
The Book Lady's Blog
She Is Too Fond of Books

And now for some other covers:

This one is ok but I like that it shows the two sisters:
And this one is weird, but I get what they're doing. The pottery is for Louisa and the shells are for Clem (she did a lot of marine biology stuff). But it's just a bit too clunky looking for me.

***Just a side note: This will be one of the books I'll be giving away in an upcoming contest!


  1. The HC from the library is simply GORGEOUS!!!

  2. I met Julia Glass in a chance encounter at a bookstore in Greenwich Village just after she won the National Book Award for Three Junes. She was a gracious, very nice woman (with a very patient grandson).

    Her The Whole World Over is on my TBR pile, and I'm looking forward to your giveaway for I See You Everywhere.

  3. I am almost finished with I See you Everywhere. I have to agree with your review...the writing is really good at some points in the book, but very confusing in others. There does seem to be something missing that makes it a GREAT book. I'm glad to read that the last few chapters are good. That gives me a reason to keep reading.


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