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Novel's two storylines never seem to succeed

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Book review: “My God, What Have We Done” is an awkward blend of stories

By Arin McKenna

Anyone looking for reading material guaranteed to put them to sleep at night should pick up “My God, What Have We Done?” by Susan V. Weiss (Fomite Press, 2011).
The novel is an awkward blend of two storylines, one set in Los Alamos during the Manhattan Project and the other following the married life of a couple identified simply as Pauline and Clifford.
Pauline — who narrates the Pauline/Clifford storyline — is one of the most monotonous characters ever written. Pauline vacillates about her marriage from the time of her engagement through the end of the novel, and seems incapable of taking any action that would make her life more fulfilling.
The Pauline/Clifford storyline consists of every petty detail of the couple’s lives, including exhaustive detail about Pauline’s morning sickness, walking her son to school and her growing dissatisfaction with her marriage. There is absolutely nothing to interest the reader in the lives of these characters. Pauline makes no attempt to better her situation, and her self-pity becomes irritating long before the novel is over.


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