sarah

Jane Mendelsohn: I Was Amelia Earheart

I Was Amelia Earhart: A Novel -

I enjoyed reading this short, experimental novel. I liked that the author departed from the facts about Earhart's life gradually, first by creating an emotional inner life for Earhart before her final flight and then by going on to fantasize a entire post-crash life for the characters. I even liked the way the POV switches between 1st and 3rd person at will, and the way the book moves away from a narrative altogether by the end.

 

That being said, I struggled to connect to this book. At times, the atmospheric, dream-like nature of the prose felt strained and I lost emotional connection to the characters. The book is lovely, but it feels more like a work of art than of storytelling. It was beautiful and full of wonder, but not warm or engaging. In the popular imagination, Amelia Earheart is more of a symbol than a human being, and the author did not rectify that problem for me.

Absolutely recommended, though, if you have a high tolerance for abstraction.