Lea Carpenter || Eleven Days

I started reading Eleven Days because I thought it was a novel about a mother whose son is missing in action. I did not expect to be thoroughly informed on the training, weapons, outfits and actions of ‘operators’, those guys who liberate hostages in occupied territory or kill the likes of Osama Bin Laden. I did not like that part of the novel at all. Apart from the fact that I am not particularly keen on reading about wars, I found that while I was being pushed into respecting operators, the novel quickly lost its literary quality. Writing about Sara and her loss, reminiscing about her son Jason this literary aspect is present. Carpenter writes subdued and clean, she chooses her words carefully. And succeeds in presenting a mother in anguish. I could not detect any literary value in the detailed descriptions of equipment, all the abbreviations used by the military or Jason writing about his tough training. Where Carpenter wrote that subtly about Sara and Jason this subtlety left her the minute she started describing military facts. I felt as if the military world was forced on me, as if Carpenter wanted to convince me that Jason had not gone missing in vain. I could have done with some irony, doubt, distance, whatever. Slightly more Homeland and less Schwarzenegger/Norris/Seagall one might say.  I would have preferred it if Carpenter had kept more distance from her subject and would have concentrated on writing a good novel instead of writing a tribute to ‘operators’. Carpenter is talented, the pages she wrote on Sara are prove of that. In writing on Jason and his training however she became (or was?) too close to her topic.

11 days


About booksandliliane

I am an avid reader and love to share my love for literature. I have my own opinion on books that have been shortlisted, laureated by critics or are pushed on us by bookstores. I will try and explain why I like or do not like a book. Hopefully influencing you in your choice of books to read.
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