Kaye Gibbons – Sights Unseen

29. Sights Unseen by Kaye Gibbons (1995)
Length: 209 pages
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Started: 9 April 2013
Finished: 11 April 2013
Where did it come from? From a Library Book Sale
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 2 February 2013
Why do I have it? I like contemporary fiction and Kaye Gibbons is a new author for me.

In the minds of the good people of Bend of the River, North Carolina, the exotic Maggie Barnes is ‘not right’, ‘flighty’ or, put more politely, ‘the Barnes woman with all her problems’. To Maggie’s immediate family – her husband Frederick, son Freddy, and young daughter, Hattie – she is a maddening and beloved paradox: quite clearly depressive, yet also a beautiful, generous, satin-clad siren.

Maggie is at times vivacious and captivating, but at others she is infuriating, violent and heartless to those who love her. Through Hattie’s now adult eyes, a devastatingly poignant portrait of her mother emerges – wry, irresistibly comic yet unsparing in its depiction of a child’s despairing love for her mentally disturbed mother. Sights Unseen is also the story of the marvelous extended Barnes family. Each with their own strategies for dealing with the impossible Maggie, the members of the Barnes family struggle to understand her and to preserve a nurturing, loving family relationship with her.

I really enjoyed this book, although at certain points I found the story incredibly poignant. Sights Unseen by Kaye Gibbons clearly illustrates how mental illness affects the entire family, however I think that during my reading, I kept expecting the author to branch out more into the community with this story. I ultimately gave Sights Unseen by Kaye Gibbons an A! 

A! – (90-95%)

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

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