My thoughts: Lately I find myself drawn to novels set in the more recent past of the 1990's. It makes sense: I'm now old enough to have clear memories of those events, and enough time has passed to give some perspective about how those events fit into history. So the premise of this novel intrigued me greatly. I recall the 1999 WTO protests in Seattle, but I found I didn't know, or perhaps didn't remember, many details about them.
I'm also drawn to stories with multiple perspectives, but that's where this novel stopped working for me. The first chapter is from Victor's perspective, and he is a richly drawn character. Through him, the reader is able to learn about him and have a sense of what's happening in Seattle, even as Victor does not yet grasp what's happening. When the novel shifted to other voices, however, I didn't find them to be authentic. So much of this novel relies on the entire cast of characters that it prevented me from engaging with and appreciating this one as much as I'd hoped.
Favorite passage: "Victor, he was onto some higher math. The calculus kind of bud, the physics of dispersal, the geometry of escape."
The verdict: I didn't care for this novel, but I'm still enchanted by the idea of it, and I'm eager to see what Yapa writes next.
Rating: 3 out of 5
Length: 320 pages
Publication date: January 12, 2016
Want to read it? Buy Your Heart Is a Muscle the Size of a Fist from Amazon (Kindle edition.)
Want more? Visit Sunil Yapa's website, connect with him on Facebook, and follow him on Twitter.
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