First Sentence: I lifted my head when I heard her knocking.
Billy Webb is a young man, recently graduated from college, joins a dictionary publishing company and begins work as a lexicographer on their annual update. His job is to research possible words which should be added. There he meets coworker Mona who keeps coming across slips of paper with words that seem to be bits of a story. The citation for each is a book entitled “The Broken Teaglass”, which doesn’t seem to exist, but sets the two on the hunt for the book, a possible crime and, possibly, a romance.
More of a literary novel, perhaps, than a mystery the book begins with an intriguing prologue followed by a first chapter that is a complete contrast.
Billy is young; something of which I had to keep reminding myself. He is 24 years old and seems immature at times. I do credit the author for, end the end, providing us with something of an explanation as to why he is, as he is. I did find the least appealing aspect of his character was the amount of alcohol he consumed, as well as his annoying habit of plying Mona with liquor. But again, he is young. Of the two characters, Mona was the better, stronger one. Mr. Samuelson, a retiree, was one of the best characters.
The most fascinating part of the story, for me, was learning how dictionaries are created; how words are included, updated, changed, etc. A dictionary is something on which I have always depended without every considering how or by whom. …”Oh, Billy,” she [Mona] said, opening her door,” Don’t hate words. Hate the people who misuse them.” I did appreciate that we slowly learn the quite interesting backstory on the characters.
“The Broken Teaglass” was an interesting story that kept me reading, even though I wasn’t always certain why. It was literate, funny at times, a bit slow at times, but also a bit poignant. In the end, nothing was really resolved, but isn’t that true of life. I wouldn’t define it as a “must read,” but I am very glad I read it.
THE BROKEN TEAGLASS (Mys-Billy Webb/Mona Minot-Massachusetts-Cont) – G+
Arsenault, Emily – 1st book / Standalone
Delacourt Press, 2009
- Hardcover: 370 pages
- Publisher: Delacorte Pr; 1 edition (29 September 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0553807331
- ISBN-13: 978-0553807332
- Product Dimensions: 14.7 x 3.3 x 21.7 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 499 g
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