The Scent of Pine by Lara Vapnyar
My rating: 1 of 5 stars
I went into this book very intrigued about the main characters past and was excited to learn why her summer as a camp counselor bothered her as much as it did. Lena is in the midst of a mid-life crisis, her career isn't where she thought it would be, her relationship with her husband is falling apart and she feels lost. During an academic conference she meets Ben and is oddly drawn to him, the pair share a ride home and embark on a weekend long affair at his cabin in the woods of Maine. Lena begins to share the story of her summer as a camp counselor during their drive and once at the remote cabin the woods help her to share her story. Ben helps her to reconcile her memories and bring about a new awareness of what happened.
And here is my biggest issue with this book, nothing really happened. Lena alludes at the beginning that she was a femme fatele, she was anything but that. The mysterious disappearances were never that mysterious and the spooky stories the kids shared, not that spooky. This camp sounded boring and awful. Lena's revelation to Ben regarding her husband was also no mystery - she knew the truth all along. The graphic novel that Ben shared that brought about all the revelations was also to much of a coincidence.
My other issue was the relationship between Lena and Ben, I didn't feel the connection and the way it unfolded felt sort of forced. Once at the cabin the drawings they made disgusted me. Ben came off like a dirty greasy old man, sort of a predator, I doubt their relationship will continue.
I found this book to be pointless, when I finished I felt like there really was no story at all.
I received a copy from Netgalley in exchange for a fair reveiw
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