Stone Arabia

Stone Arabia - Dana Spiotta My professor assigned this book to our workshop class, and I kept hoping that by the time we had our discussion in class, I would finally understand the book. And I feel pretty terrible that the book didn't click with me, though I should say that several other classmates enjoyed the story. So this is just my personal opinion. The sibling relationship in the story was unrealistic. I was surprised, since the tension at the beginning of the story made it seem like the two of them had the typical unspoken familial understanding. While I didn't expect them to be best friends, since siblings rarely are, Denise was constantly bewildered by Nik. Not confused, not annoyed, but bewildered--the way you would be with a stranger--and that feeling was repetitive and frustrating to read about. I do understand that writing siblings in stories is hard to do. That relationship is difficult to capture accurately: the familiarity, knowing one another almost to the point of loathing, experiencing the same things, and that bond that comes from spending all of that time together growing up. I kept expecting to see that familiarity in the story, and I didn't get it. And so, since the novel is about Denise trying to "know" her brother, I was left in a reading void. This may just be an issue I had while reading it, and I'm still uncertain with what I should originally have taken away from it, so I'm giving it two stars.