Monster in the Middle: A Novel
Tiphanie Yanique’s Monster in the Middle chronicles the family histories of two people in love, sketching out the lines that begin before a person’s existence and drawing them in to make sense of how we fall in and out love.
Yanique’s voice is at once lyrical, sharp, and ubiquitous. Her experimental form leans into the absurdity that makes up love, although the story felt disjointed along its central thesis. While it stayed true in defining love as the culmination of ancestry and histories, it seemed to stray along a few points and stories without drawing a satisfying arc or conclusion. The narrative was also brave in exploring young and waning sexuality and how early and traumatizing experiences permanently influence our articulation of sexual love, but this also seemed to need a more direct line to the final, central story.
Monster in the Middle is an ambitious and affecting read, where different forms of love are dissected and interrogated against the backdrop of personal and historic tragedy. While the narrative at times fell short of the compassionate, intelligent, and poignant writing, it will stay in the mind as a challenge to our ideas of love and what it is made of.
|Page Count||288 pages|
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