You’d be hard pressed to find a review for Bonnie Nadzam’s debut novel(la) that doesn’t draw comparrisons to Lolita. And judging from the premise, it’s not unusual. Middle age David Lamb’s minorly successful life seems to be falling apart. Meanwhile he befriends 11-year-old girl, Tommie, and in an attempt to “save” her from her lack-laster adolescence, convinces her to drive with him across the country to a Wyoming getaway. Dirty old man mildly seducing preteen girl? Sure…Lolita…I got it.
But that’s about when Nadzam claims Lamb as her own creation instead of an updated version of classic literature. Yes, there are a few moments when this creepy and awkward premise gets…well…creepy and awkward. But what’s written for us is less of a bizarre love story and more of a very intriguing character study set to a broken American dream landscape. As the duo make their way across the dreary badlands in search of something to feel meaning, if not for the first time then
for the last, it’s unclear if the deceptions Lamb whirls in Tommie’s head are for her or for him.
Check out an interview with Bonnie Nadzam here: http://www.otherpress.com/news/bea-preview-bonnie-nadzam