08 August 2011


By Ellen Hopkins
Published by Atria Books
A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.
October 2011
ARC courtesy of Simon & Schuster Canada

"If I'm in the middle of my life, is this really all I've got to show for it?"

Triangles is a novel of three women facing mid-life and wondering if they've made the right choices. Holly has just lost 60 pounds and taken up running and extramarital sex after years of being at home and raising her three kids. Andrea is a single mom who can't seem to keep a love interest. Marissa is still married, barely, and has fallen into emotional despair.

Ellen Hopkins explores the lives of each of these women in an unusual way - through poetic verse. I have to admit I was not looking forward to reading this book once I discovered it was all poetry. However, poetic verse turned out to be a brilliant device to delve into the complexities of middle age. In many ways, one poem told more than several regular chapters would have been able to tell.

Childhood, parenthood, adoption, drugs, terminal illness, extramarital affairs, weight loss, friendship, teen pregnancy, and ordinary day-to-day activities are all covered in this novel (and covered well). The book is well written and a flick through the pages shows the different poetic styles Hopkins incorporated throughout.

The poetry is thoughtful, insightful, and heartbreaking, as well as funny, beautiful, and sexy. I raced through this book hoping each story would end the way I wanted (didn't happen) and I just wanted more, more, more when it was over.

Don't let the thought of reading poetry put you off this book. Empty your head of all such thoughts and throw yourself into the emotions and stories of Triangles,


martine said...

Hi, visiting via Friday reads on Facebook. This sounds brilliant, am going to have to seek it out.
thanks for your review

Ellen Hopkins said...

Thanks so much for the review, and thanks for taking a chance on the verse. Glad it worked for you!