Joe Bliven

It Is Wood, It Is Stone
By Gabriella Burnham


November 2nd, 2020

This book struck me as The Sun Also Rises but actually engaging. It's a beautiful slice of life story that relies heavily on you being invested in the characters -particularly the narrator- which I found exceedingly easy. The book digresses a few times to focus on secondary characters' backstories. Each time this happened I got a bit annoyed by having to leave the situation I had just been drinking in for, this annoyance only gripped me for a page or two before I got very invested in the new focus of the book. It's funny because no matter how much this happened I never learned to just trust the book, I was always afraid that the book was about to take a dramatic dive and ruin itself. It's really hard to pin this book down, it jumps around and holds on strange things a bit too long while speeding past things you feel should be important to the narrator and it leaves you feeling like her life just isn't fitting together as it should. I think this narrative style is really great at capturing the feeling of being in a place that's unfamiliar to you and having a sort of paranoia or always second guessing yourself because your environment is no longer something that grounds you and gives you confidence. I loved all of these characters and all of their situations, it was so easy to fall into this little world and get deeply invested. I've been reading a lot of first time authors this year and it's a bit frustrating because when you finish reading something that you like this much you just want to jump right in to something else they've written. Well I hope this isn't the last we hear from Gabriella Burnham.