I am going to be very critical of this book for several reasons, first of which being because I loved the first Claire Dewitt book so much. We meet Claire for the first time in that book and I fell in love with her. Perhaps I should have known that her flaws would become more apparent the more I got to know her, as flaws do with anyone you get to know well. But man did her flaws take a huge leap in this book. And dangit I care about Claire.
In ‘Bohemian Highway’ Claire investigates the death of a local musician. He’s not just a local musician however, he’s her ex-lover. This brings up tons of old feelings Claire is not equipped to deal with so she turns to cocaine. In the first book, Claire smokes a lot of pot and partakes in some strange drug laced cigarettes the kids she’s with smoke, but she didn’t do these things to hide from the pain like she does in this book. She did them because she uses her visions to aid her in her investigations. Or is that just a lie she tells herself? Hmmm. The addict can justify like no other.
Ok, as I’m writing this, I’m not quite as disgusted. I’ve thought a lot about Claire and the bottom she hits in this book but I was looking at it rather selfishly, wanting the Claire back that I was comfortable with, not this coke head one. Looking at it as a recovering alcoholic though, I’m starting to understand exactly why she had to fall so far.
The main issue I have is, the only way Claire has to go is up, right? Or maybe not. Is Sara Gran leaning towards the direction of recovery for Claire? If so, will her character be as intriguing? It’s like in the TV show House when they tried to sober Dr. House up. It just didn’t work. Part of his character is the addict part and part of Claire Dewitt’s character and even her own crime solving techniques involve drug use. So where will it go?
It’s just so maddening! Claire is such the picture of an addict! Oh no one loves me, I shouldn’t exist, no one cares, blah blah blah when the exact opposite is true! She has good people who care about her but she can’t see it. She’s still so stuck in the past. There are plenty of flashbacks type chapters that explain a bit more about her upbringing, underage drinking, drug use,self harm, sex drugs and rock and roll in the eighties. Claire is definitely shaping into the perfect addict.
My problem is I can only see addiction from a recovery standpoint, so I just really wonder where this is going and I really wonder if Sara Gran has experience with addiction and recovery. She must in some facet because this is just too accurate.
I think I’m being critical because I’m angry. I’m angry at Gran for making Claire suffer so much in this book. Wow, so I guess the book did what it’s supposed to eh? Every writer strives for an emotional reaction from their reader.
Ok on a lighter note, I jotted down a quote that totally cracked me up:
I was watching Iggy Pop videos on youtube and trying to research miniature horse suicides.
Oh, and the word of the day for this book is “vintage”. Vintage this and vintage that. I could literally smell the incense burning in the thrift stores I shopped in as a teen haha! I’d love to word cloud this book and see how often something is vintage.
*I don’t want to go lower than entertaining but I can’t say I was entertained. I was more disturbed. But I think that was Gran’s intention.