Author: Jill McCorkle
Published by: Algonquin Books
Released: June 9, 2020
Source: Review Copy from Publisher
Synopsis: Lil and Frank married young, launched into courtship when they bonded over how they both—suddenly, tragically—lost a parent when they were children. Over time, their marriage grew and strengthened, with each still wishing for so much more understanding of the parents they’d lost prematurely.Now, after many years in Boston, they have retired in North Carolina. There, Lil, determined to leave a history for their children, sifts through letters and notes and diary entries—perhaps revealing more secrets than Frank wants their children to know. Meanwhile, Frank has become obsessed with what might have been left behind at the house he lived in as a boy on the outskirts of town, where a young single mother, Shelley, is just trying to raise her son with some sense of normalcy. Frank’s repeated visits to Shelley’s house begin to trigger memories of her own family, memories that she’d rather forget. Because, after all, not all parents are ones you wish to remember.
Hieroglyphics reveals the difficulty of ever really knowing the intentions and dreams and secrets of the people who raised you. In her deeply layered and masterful novel, Jill McCorkle deconstructs and reconstructs what it means to be a father or a mother, and what it means to be a child piecing together the world all around us, a child learning to make sense of the hieroglyphics of history and memory. (Synopsis from Goodreads)
My Thoughts: Beautiful writing and character's made real were the biggest takeaways from Jill McCorkle's Hieroglyphics. It was a wonderful story that I really got lost in. Each character is so fully realized and fleshed out. I just think of that quote from Shrek where he says, "Ogres are like onions, they have layers." Is that a ridiculous thing to think while reading this book? Maybe, but that's how this book was. The reader is peeling back layer after layer of history and how it relates to who these characters became in the now.
I love a book that discovers the past. I really enjoyed Lil looking through old notes and diary entries to try to understand the parent that was taken too soon.
Frank is very focused on the place that he left as a child and I did find aspects of that relatable. Places hold memories, but a place is never frozen in time.
I really liked the relationships in this book, the new ones and the old ones.
This was just a very nice story to read. I enjoyed my time in it.
’s first two novels were released simultaneously when she was just out of college, and the New York Times called her “a born novelist.” Since then, she has published six novels and four collections of short stories, and her work has appeared in Best American Short Stories several times, as well as The Norton Anthology of Short Fiction. Five of her books have been New York Times Notable books, and her most recent novel, Life After Life, was a New York Times bestseller. She has received the New England Booksellers Award, the John Dos Passos Prize for Excellence in Literature, and the North Carolina Award for Literature. She has written for the New York Times Book Review, the Washington Post, the Boston Globe, Garden and Gun, the Atlantic, and other publications. She was a Briggs-Copeland Lecturer in Fiction at Harvard, where she also chaired the department of creative writing. She is currently a faculty member of the Bennington College Writing Seminars and is affiliated with the MFA program at North Carolina State University.
Thanks so much for stopping by my Blog Tour Stop for Hieroglyphics by Jill McCorkle. Thanks so much to Algonquin Books and Jill McCorkle for letting me be a part of it.