Thursday, 4 March 2021

Dig

Finished February 25
Dig by A.S. King


This book just blew me away. I had heard good things about it, so borrowed it from my local library and it exceeded my expectations. This story is told in three parts, each consisting of multiple chapters. Part One is Introductions where we get introduced to some of the main players in the plot. Part Two is Our Cast in a Blender. Part Three is Our Cast in a Strainer.
Part One is itself split into sections, and each section has a list of the cast in order of appearance. It is interesting that not all the cast are people, and not all the people have actual names. Some people are named for an attribute or behaviour, others for a relationship or role. Some of the cast are other creatures, some are inanimate objects, and some change names in different situations. 
Part Two starts to really mix the cast members up, having them encounter each other and situations in different ways. 
Part Three takes the cast through defining moments, facing up to difficult situations, decisions, and new knowledge.
The novel begins in April 2018, and then jumps back a few weeks and moves forward from there throughout the rest of the book. Each chapter takes us either to the viewpoint of a cast member, or to a description of a scene. Many of the main cast are teenagers struggling with a variety of typical issues as well as some less typical ones: trying to fit in or define their identity, rebelling against parents, making friends, working, dealing with illegal or illicit substances, exploring sexual feelings, bullying, school, race, and facing loss. Two of the main cast members are older adults, influenced by specific events that happened back when they themselves were teenagers that affected their life views. These two older adults, a couple, have hidden these things from each other, and they are estranged from most of their children, and don't know their grandchildren well, if at all. 
As we see these various cast members cross paths and interact with each other, we also see how they are connected in different ways, and how they are all moving towards the crucial date from the beginning of the novel, where things come to a climax. 
This is a coming of age story and a story of secrets, personas, and hope for a better future. Some of the teenagers have relatively good relationships with some of the adults in their lives, and others less so. There are judgements, and impressions, reactions and defence mechanisms. 
There is just so much to talk about in this book, that it would be a fantastic book club choice. 
I loved this book so much.

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