Thursday, 15 December 2016

TLC Book Tours Review: I'll Take You There by Wally Lamb


About I'll Take You There

• Hardcover: 272 pages
• Publisher: Harper; First Printing edition (November 22, 2016)

In this radiant homage to the resiliency, strength, and power of women, Wally Lamb—author of numerous New York Times bestselling novels including She’s Come Undone, I Know This Much is True, and We Are Water—weaves an evocative, deeply affecting tapestry of one Baby Boomer's life and the trio of unforgettable women who have changed it.

I’ll Take You There centers on Felix, a film scholar who runs a Monday night movie club in what was once a vaudeville theater. One evening, while setting up a film in the projectionist booth, he’s confronted by the ghost of Lois Weber, a trailblazing motion picture director from Hollywood’s silent film era. Lois invites Felix to revisit—and in some cases relive—scenes from his past as they are projected onto the cinema’s big screen.

In these magical movies, the medium of film becomes the lens for Felix to reflect on the women who profoundly impacted his life. There’s his daughter Aliza, a Gen Y writer for New York Magazine who is trying to align her post-modern feminist beliefs with her lofty career ambitions; his sister, Frances, with whom he once shared a complicated bond of kindness and cruelty; and Verna, a fiery would-be contender for the 1951 Miss Rheingold competition, a beauty contest sponsored by a Brooklyn-based beer manufacturer that became a marketing phenomenon for two decades. At first unnerved by these ethereal apparitions, Felix comes to look forward to his encounters with Lois, who is later joined by the spirits of other celluloid muses.

Against the backdrop of a kaleidoscopic convergence of politics and pop culture, family secrets, and Hollywood iconography, Felix gains an enlightened understanding of the pressures and trials of the women closest to him, and of the feminine ideals and feminist realities that all women, of every era, must face.

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My Thoughts:
Ok first of all I just want to clarify that I am a fan of Wally Lamb and absolutely loved 'She's Come Undone', 'I Know This Much Is True', and 'The Hour I First Believed'. 

So, what to say about 'I'll Take You There'...All I can say is that it wasn't what I expected, with less pages than I'm used to with his previous novels, and sparser descriptions or depth of characterisation, I have to say it's not one I particularly liked or felt compelled to finish.

It's an easy read, with light inoffensive material about women, family and feminism. To me though it lacked depth and character build up, resulting in bland uninteresting characters and plot.

However, I do think it would be a perfect, uncomplicated quick 'holiday' read, and has huge potential and appeal for the commercial market reader, more so than the literary fiction fan. In fact I can see it doing very well in this market, and that's a good thing especially if it brings a wider audience to Lamb's books.

Ideal for book club reads for potential discussion about women's roles in society, and family, and feminism in general.

These are only my thoughts on the book and in no way would I wish to dissuade anyone from reading the book. In fact, my view is in the minority and therefore I hope that you take a look at what the other reviewers on this tour have had to say about it.

Disclaimer: I received a complementary advance reading copy of 'I'll Take You There' from the publisher and TLC Book Tours to take part in the blog tour.

Photo credit Chris Hetzer 
Photo credit Chris Hetzer

About Wally Lamb

Wally Lamb is the author of four previous novels, including the New York Times and national bestseller The Hour I First Believed and Wishin' and Hopin', a bestselling novella. His first two works of fiction, She's Come Undone and I Know This Much Is True, were both number-one New York Times bestsellers and Oprah's Book Club selections. He lives in Connecticut with his wife, Christine. The Lambs are the parents of three sons.

Find out more about Wally at his website, and connect with him on Facebook.

Tour Stops

Tuesday, November 22nd: Jenn’s Bookshelves
Wednesday, November 23rd: Dolce Bellezza
Monday, November 28th: Turn the Page
Tuesday, November 29th: West Metro Mommy
Wednesday, November 30th: Lit and Life
Thursday, December 1st: The Well-Read Redhead
Monday, December 5th: bookchickdi
Tuesday, December 6th: What Will She Read Next
Wednesday, December 7th: Bibliophiliac
Thursday, December 8th: A Bookish Way of Life
Friday, December 9th: Booksie’s Blog
Monday, December 12th: Girl Who Reads
Wednesday, December 14th: Mother’s Circle
Thursday, December 15th: SJ2B House Of Books

1 comment:

Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this book for the tour.