Once Upon a Day, by Lisa Tucker

Just a few thoughts on this one. I really liked The Song Reader, so I thought I’d give it a try. I started it in an afternoon, put it down when I went out with some friends, and picked it up again when I went to bed. I expected to fall asleep at some point but I was so captivated by the story that I didn’t put it down until I finished it.  It was one of those books where it was a jolt to leave the world that had been created.

It didn’t strike me as quite as beautifully written as The Song Reader, but obviously I still enjoyed it quite a lot. It did the shifting point-of-view thing that is fairly fashionable, and did it successfully. I was fascinated by the basic idea of all of the stories – the single day that completely shifts your world. Not everyone, I think, has a day like that, but all of these characters did. They all had single , specific, traumatic days that completely altered the course of their lives. And talking about those days, or not talking about those days, was incredibly important to all of them.

I’m also fascinated by the way that Lisa Tucker writes people with (undiagnosed) mental disorders. Both The Song Reader and Once Upon a Day feature people with odd upbringings and, shall we say, interesting mental patterns. And they are fairly sympathetic and even if you don’t agree with the actions themselves, you can’t disagree with the motivations.

Like I told my sister, it’s not a book that you have to read now now now, but Lisa Tucker should be on your list somewhere.


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