Review: The Hunchback of Neiman Marcus
Holly’s not having the best year – she’s just turned fifty and is in the midst of menopause and the hot flashes that go along with it. She’s dealing with her aging mother and is dreading her daughter’s impending departure for college. To make matters worse, she has a deadline looming and her marriage seems to be on rocky ground.
When I first starting reading reviews of The Hunchback of Neiman Marcus, by Sonya Sones, I figured it wasn’t for me. After all, I thought the title was rather silly and the novel is written in verse, and I don’t “do” poetry. Thank heavens my friend Julie urged me to give it a try, because I absolutely adored this book! I suspect it’s somewhat autobiographical but, I felt like Sones was peeking at my life and writing about it. I laughed and cried as I read this touching and heartfelt book. I started to mark passages as I read it and found that I was marking everything, so I gave up. The sentiments in this book are gorgeous and emotional and I found I could relate to so much of it.
Deemed a “coming of middle-age” story, I do think this book will appeal more to middle-aged women, especially those who are married and have children. Don’t let the fact that it’s written in verse keep you from reading it – it just may be one of my favorites of the year and I’m singing its praises to everyone I know. I even had Carl read a few of the poems and he enjoyed them too.
I want to share a few stanzas of a poem that really struck me. Holly is observing her neighbor who’s irritated with her young toddler and writes:
She doesn’t know
that someday she’ll long
for this late August afternoon
when she could have held
like a jewel
in the palm of her still smooth hand.
After reading The Hunchback of Neiman Marcus, I want to experience more of Sones work and hope to explore more novels in verse.