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American Subversive by David Goodwillie

This is one of the books on the New York Times 2010 list, for good reason. It was a fascinating read. This novel focuses on two people: Paige and Aidan.  Aidan is a 30 something blogger who becomes fascinated with Paige after the bombing of a local agency in post 9/11 New York City. Paige is a 29 year old woman with a history of working for non profit organizations that exist to lobby for the benefit of noble causes. She becomes radicalized after her brother's death as a soldier in Iraq and becomes instrumental in organizing bombings of targets. Paige and Aidan eventually meet and become friends of necessity. Goodwillie's wordy novel details the relationship between the two.

I loved this book - it was ambitious and sometimes fell a little flat but the overwhelming majority of the novel was absolutely wonderful. It's wordiness was something that you could sink your teeth into and the story and writing style were such that it was engrossing - so engrossing that I couldn't put it down. The novel was also really funny in some parts. For instance, Aidan heads to suburbia where he visits with aging hippies and the way that they are portrayed made me giggle. The novel was also tender and achingly endearing in some ways - it's quickly apparent that Aidan has fallen in love with Paige and how Goodwillie describes their affair is very touching.

This is a wonderful read, well worth the time and the money to add it to your library.


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