The Art of Adapting Book Review
Book Title: The Art of Adapting
Author: Cassandra Dunn
Genre: Women’s fiction, literary fiction
Published July 29, 2014 by Touchstone
Remember that awesome book signing Lindsey and I went to about a month ago? See it here. I finally finished the book! I’m so glad it just so happened Cassandra is located near us, so we heard about the book signing and went. Otherwise, I don’t know if I would have known about this wonderful book!
This is a gem of a novel. Lana is newly divorced with two teenage children- son Byron and daughter Abby. She recently moved in her brother, Matt, who has Asperger’s, because he was getting into trouble with drugs. This is a family in transition. Each family member is dealing with their own issues. Lana struggles to find her voice and strength after divorcing a controlling husband. Abby is struggling with body image and an eating disorder. Byron has many passions and doesn’t know what to pursue. Matt is overcoming addiction as well as the challenges of Asperger’s.
The book alternates between each of these characters’ points of view. I loved getting inside each of their heads, but also seeing how the characters viewed each other through this writing style. Dunn’s writing style is very engaging with the right mix of description, dialogue, inner talk, etc. An amazing feat for her first full-length novel!
I loved each of the main characters. All flawed, all unique, and all growing for the better as the book progressed. You come to love and empathize with each one of them. I thought the portrayal of Matt’s Asperger’s was extremely well done and accurate (from what I know of it). Although his “voice” was more methodological, he came through as someone who cares deeply for his family members. I loved how he helped out each family member in his own unique way.
This book was also different because there wasn’t one main plot with a specific climax. It was a “slice of life” style book, showing a family during one period of their life. I actually enjoy books like this. I loved getting a glimpse into this family.
These characters will stay with me long after I closed the last page. It’s hard to believe this is her first novel because it’s extremely well-crafted. I am so eager to read her future works!