A review by bex_knighthunterbooks
Here I Am by Jonathan Safran Foer

challenging reflective slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes


This book contained many of the things I love about Foer's writing: beautiful and thoughtful prose, witty dialogue, and experimentation with structures (although I was not a fan of the vulgarity that appeared in the story from time to time). Unfortunately, I didn't find myself very drawn in by the premise or plot of this story which is a very deep dive into one family, mostly over quite a short time period, where a marriage is failing. I have mixed feelings about the characters - they were drawn with such detail but that didn't necessarily make them believable (in a way that felt quite true to the author they seem a little more strange than reality where their traits evoke some deeper meaning e.g. a 5 year old that only eats 'unfinished' food). I didn't find the main character particularly likeable, and was disappointed at how little we got to understand his wife Julia (given all the focus on Jacob's ancestry it felt strange that we know next to nothing of her family), although the children were brilliant when they had a POV. It didn't feel it justified its length - the ending dragged when there were so many more dramatic moments in the middle of the book. Some sections I found entertaining and thought-provoking, but ultimately I don't think it worked for me as a complete novel.

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