Author: Alexis M. Smith
Published: January 17, 2012
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars
Isabel is a single, twenty-something thrift-store shopper and collector of remnants, things cast off or left behind by others. Glaciers follows Isabel through a day in her life in which work with damaged books in the basement of a library, unrequited love for the former soldier who fixes her computer, and dreams of the perfect vintage dress move over a backdrop of deteriorating urban architecture and the imminent loss of the glaciers she knew as a young girl in Alaska. Glaciers unfolds internally, the action shaped by Isabel’s sense of history, memory, and place, recalling the work of writers such as Jean Rhys, Marguerite Duras, and Virginia Woolf. For Isabel, the fleeting moments of one day can reveal an entire life. While she contemplates loss and the intricate fissures it creates in our lives, she accumulates the stories―the remnants―of those around her and she begins to tell her own story.
This was a quick and easy read. The story is not action packed, but it is emotional. Isabel is a likeable character that gives us a glimpse into her past and into her heart. She doesn’t spend time complaining about things and by the end of the story, it was nice to see her adapt and move on with her life. I loved her junker tendencies and her love of vintage.
Stokes, a vet who works at the library with Isabel, is one of those characters that reminds you of the guy you crushed on in high school. This story brings back all of those feelings of nervousness and butterflies that I’m sure we all felt back when we quietly admired the guys or girls around us. This isn’t a long review because this book was a simple, short story. It isn’t deeply philosophical, or intellectual, or full of energy. It’s a quiet story that is nostalgic and sentimental. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for an easy story that still has a lot of feeling.