Amy Waldman, The Submission, (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux), 2011.
I bought this novel as a gift for my wife based on several reviews that I had read, but somehow I never got around to reading the book until several years later. Written a decade after the attacks of 9-11-2001, the book tries to examine the process of producing a memorial. It plays with the politics of the time and examines some of the irrational fear of Muslims that continues to be a part of our contemporary situation.
I guess I might say it is a good novel. It is not, however, a great novel. Somehow Waldman's characters don't become real enough for us. They are too stereotypical, too generic, too devoid of the unique quirks and individualities that make humans what we are. The story ends up being disappointing.
Maybe my gift wasn't as interesting as it might have been. That is the way it is with reviews. They simply aren't the same thing as reading the book.