Friday, February 27, 2009

Addition by Toni Jordan

In Addition, Grace likes to count. Maybe "likes" isn't the right word. "Compelled" is more like it. She counts everything; the number of times she brushes her hair, the number of poppy seeds on orange cake, the number of letters in her name, the number of steps she takes. Counting defines her world. That's basically her life until one day she walks into her favourite cafe and finds that all of the tables are full. There's no place for her to sit. That is until Seamus Joseph O'Reilly invites her to share his table. She doesn't know it yet, but her world is about to be turned upside down and secrets she'd rather not disclose will not be hidden for long.

A wonderfully funny and endearing story from Australia. Grace definitely has some problems, however, Tori Jordan almost had me believing that this was "normal". Of course, it isn't. Even Grace knows that not everyone is obsessed with counting like her, but Jordan shows us the person behind the OCD and all of a sudden Grace's counting doesn't really matter. It's part of who she is. I absolutely loved this book. It even made me feel a little bit better about myself. Not because Grace is even more screwed up than me, but because all of my little quirks are part of who I am.

I did find the beginning of the book a bit exhausting to read. The counting and recounting; it felt like I was going in circles. I could just imagine what Grace was going through.

The book seemed to suffer from a split personality, which isn't a bad thing necessarily. It went from sarcastic, funny and focusing on Grace's counting to hot and heavy sex scenes. I usually frown upon gratuitous sex or violence or the like, however, in this case the episodes didn't really feel out of place. They also appeared to distract Grace from counting. Besides Jordan really knows how to write those scenes well. Hot! ;)

My favourite quote: I like the spaces between people better than the people themselves. It reminded me a little of another of my favourites from Invisible Armies by Jon Evans. If I keep finding quotes like this people are going to think I don't like them. ;)

Grace's obsession with Nikola Tesla was intriguing and I enjoyed all of the information Jordan provides about his life. Ever since I saw a wonderful play at the Winnipeg Fringe Festival about Tesla, I've had a fondness for him. I'm a little embarrassed to say that I don't really know too much about him, but my ears perk up when I hear his name or in this case, my eyes light up when I read his name. It turns out that he, too, was a counter and suffered from OCD like Grace did. Interesting. I might have to do a little more reading on him.

On a personal note: I always thought my husband was a little OCD with numbers or counting. However after reading this book, I now think that he's just really comfortable with numbers and likes to know how many, how long, how far, and whatnot. He's not obsessed with them. I'll never complain again when he comes home from work and needs to know how many cookies I baked. ;)

Highly recommended.

Want to know more about this book? You can Browse Inside or read a synopsis.

1 comment:

  1. Nice review. I too enjoyed this story very much. I'm glad you brought it to people's attention.


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