Monday, October 01, 2018

Halle Butler, 'Jillian' (2015), Part II

Halle Butler, Jillian. Chicago: Curbside Splendor, 2015.

Most often, we see things from the perspective of Jillian and Megan, but we also catch fleeting glimpses of consciousness from other characters, mostly people but also a dog (Crispy), raccoons, trees and a bird. I love this!  Also, it reminds me of Werner Herzog's Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans (2009), in which we briefly see things from the perspective of an alligator and an iguana and hear separate musings about the dreams of a pet fish.

Jillian: Characters central and peripheral. Jillian Bradley, her son Adam and dog Crispy. Elena, Susie, Carol -- church ladies. Julie, Tessa, Emma -- Adam's childhood frenemies at day care. Barb - day care teacher. 

Emily (dog seller). 

Dr. Billings, Dr. Schraeder -- at the gastroenterologist office where Jillian works with Megan. 

Randy - Megan's live-in paramour, often thinking privately about breaking up with her. 

Unnamed cop -- pulls Jillian over and orders her car impounded, inspiring Jillian to concoct a story about hitting a deer, requiring imaginary auto repairs and real pain killers. 

Mike Johnson -- County Clerk's office.

Drug representative with dolly cart -- Jillian and Megan's office.

Carrie, Janet, Jessica, Steve, Bill, Annie, Amanda, David, Will, James, Sarah, Albert, Kelly, Anthea -- various and sundry acquaintances and frenemies, objects of jealousy and competition. 

Loud Jim and unnamed guy on bus -- provide outside perspectives. 

Raccoons, trees, unnamed bird -- provide outside perspectives, sort of Zen, sort of Shinto. 
Not to worry: no deer is injured in the novel. Jillian does acquire TYLENOL® T3 with Codeine for her "accident," though. 

Megan immediately responds to Jillian's not showing up at work: "Her absence was intriguing." (page 102). This is exactly the same way I respond when someone doesn't show up at work, so I can't help but laugh every time I read this -- as with so much else in the novel.

Off the charts: a section on "Memory Palaces" and, earlier, Megan going to a fancy grocery: "That day she thought, 'F**k it,' and went to the smaller grocery store. The store was for rich people, but f**k it, right? There were delights there." 

(page [109]. "F**k" is spelled out in the original, but as I'm not sure what the censorship policies are for blog posts, here I've added asterisks to protect the eyes of delicate readers and keep Puritans at bay).

Jillian's snack choices (and her life choices in general) also inspire knowing laughs -- read and weep!

I'm truly looking forward to Halle Butler's The New Me: A Novel (Penguin Books, 2019) and wish I could read it immediately: "because life just keeps grinding on, right?" (Jillian, page [109]).

Today's Rune: Initiation. 

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