Published by AmazonCrossing on March 1, 2017
Genres/Lists: Diverse, Fiction
Read synopsis on Goodreads
Buy the book: Amazon/Audible (this post includes affiliate links)
I’ve read a lot of books over the years. Many I’ve loved, many I’ve hated, but a few have left me with no feelings, whatsoever. Unfortunately, The Marvelous Misadventures of Ingrid Winter by J.S. Drangsholt fell into this last category. It wasn’t that I disliked the book, but rather I finished it not knowing exactly what I had just read and was unsatisfied. I’m not sure if this was due to the story or the translation, but my guess is it’s the story itself.
The story follows Ingrid Winter, described as being neurotic, as she manages the stresses of motherhood, marriage, and her career. It sounded promising, particularly because I can be a bit neurotic myself, but what was promised wasn’t quite was delivered. I’ve often wondered about the disparity between synopsis and story before, so while I’m aware that authors don’t necessarily have final say over jacket copy, it can be disappointing when expectations fall flat.
While the story does delve into these different aspects of Ingrid’s life, it does so shallowly. What I mean by this is that each is present, but none are delved into. The result is a lot of skimming along the surface of a great premise without diving into any of the specifics. This approach can work, but in this case, it did not.
I was, to be fair, in tune with Ingrid’s anxiety and paranoia, but I felt no empathy for her. Early on, I was reminded of The Vegetarian and, although I didn’t love that book either, I was hoping for a cohesive look at mental health. When they didn’t pan out, I began hoping her relationships would take a fuller shape. But when that didn’t happen either, I began to hope that her time in Russia would unlock my interest. None of this happened, so The Marvelous Misadventures of Ingrid Winter is now planted firmly on the list of books I couldn’t plot a trajectory for (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas being another in this category).
That said, this book is a short and quick read. The use of dialogue makes it even quicker and it is, perhaps, this lack of a significant time investment on my part that leaves me with indifferent, rather than negative, feelings about my reading experience. I can’t say that I recommend this one but if you go into it knowing it’s a much lighter read than expected, you may end up enjoying it.