There’s a family joke regarding me and my cousin. We didn’t live in the same state and when we did get a chance to spend time together, usually at our grandparents, usually at the tail end of summer, our idea of quality time was reading different books next to each other. All the adults thought it was perplexing/hilarious. We never saw each other and now we were too into our respective books to even interact? What I remember, what they didn’t see, were the moments when we’d pause and read a humorous passage out loud, share a moment of mutual appreciation for the author’s wit or clever turn of phrase. These days, when I run across a passage in my current book that I’m pretty sure she’ll find amusing, I text her a picture. She responds accordingly. And I still feel like we are sharing an experience. So when I read The Verifiers and came across multiple quotable moments to text her, I knew I had stumbled onto a good read.
The best I can do is slouch in a corner rereading The Bostonians on my phone so I won’t start telling various member of my family to just shut up already. Henry James is about the only author I can bear right now. I could do with some eloquent introspection and regret, and he’s safely ensconced in the pre-Internet age. Also, his female protagonists’ subpar decision-making skills are really resonating with me. (208)
But let’s talk about the book.