The Little Clan
by Iris Martin Cohen
“She wondered why, in the reflected glow of the scenery she had worked so hard to create, she felt a small internal deflation, a sigh, a hesitation; it didn’t quite feel as satisfying as she had expected.”
This novel follows a young woman with an old soul, lost in her own life, running while staying in the same place. Never leaving her comfort zone and never trying new things, she works in the library of the Lazarus club and lives in the apartments above. Her best friend Stephanie, ambitious and a little over the top, comes barreling back into Ava’s life one day and they decide (Stephanie decides and does everything) that they are going to open a literary club. Filled with Great Gatsby themes and the journey to self-discovery, getting out of ones comfort zone, this novel is a fun and thought-provoking read.
Ava: I was intrigued by Ava at first. A lover of classic novels (only written by men), and a true introvert, she clashed with the back-drop of New York City life. I found Ava to be prudish, selfish, and a “better than thou” attitude. She dressed differently and played heavily on her unique attributes, succumbing to what I would call “special snowflake syndrome”. Her tendency to put herself above others did not, however, take away from the realism of her character. Ava was not a character I was hoping would grow up throughout the novel and branch out from her inner thoughts to care about the people around her. In the end, she did change in minute ways but continued to feel self important throughout the novel. This made her a frustrating character to root for.
Stephanie: The back story of Stephanie was intriguing and gave great insight into her motivations. I found her to be a dynamic and interesting character that I wanted to know more about. Because the story was told through Ava’s eyes for the most part, Stephanie was antagonized during certain sections of the novel. I found Stephanie’s story to be tragic and realistic and I was rooting for her throughout the story to grow and become a more well rounded individual.
Story: The overall story was beautifully written and laid out wonderfully. The progression of the story and the way the writing flowed was very well done. The New York scene was an interesting setting that helped the story to progress in a fast-paced and chaotic manner. While there were parts of the story that dragged, the majority of the story had a natural and fun progression and it was an enjoyable and dynamic book.