The Lobster Kings

My most recent Evergreen read was Alexi Zentner’s The Lobster Kings. It’s the story of the Kings family who have been living and fishing on the same island for 300 years. A fascinating read, and the whole idea of feeling such a deep connection to a place really intrigues me. My family is fairly nomadic – we usually only stick around for a generation or two before moving on to the next place. So I don’t fully understand that connection that drives much of Cordelia Kings actions. I can imagine what it’s like, but I will never actually know. But hey, that why we read, isn’t it?

Zentner’s writing somehow manages to be fantastical and practical at the same time. There are passages that veer into the realm of magical realism and yet the overall feel of the novel is very to the point – it suits the hardscrabble fishing community where it’s set. There’s one section of the novel where, honest to goodness, every possible thing that could go wrong does. I think that in a lesser novel that could almost come across as one of those really bad made-for-tv movies, yet Zentner manages to pull it off. Truly impressive if you ask me.

This is totally irrelevant, but I’m pretty sure Ravelry is mentioned in passing in this book. When describing a secondary character it says, “she’d gotten involved in an online knitting community and spent a couple of hours each day chatting with ladies on the forums” (p. 134). Tell me that’s not Ravelry!

Overall I enjoyed this novel, but I think it’s one of the many that I will eventually forget. That’s not necessarily a bad thing (as a librarian, and all around book-lover, I read well over 100 books a year), it just means that it didn’t get under my skin like some of the other Evergreen books this year.


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