When Elise Perez meets Jamey Hyde on a desolate winter afternoon, fate implodes, and neither of their lives will ever be the same. Although they are next-door neighbors in New Haven, they come from different worlds. Elise grew up in a housing project without a father and didn’t graduate from high school. Jamey is a junior at Yale, heir to a private investment bank fortune and beholden to high family expectations. The attraction is instant, and what starts out as sexual obsession turns into something greater, stranger, and impossible to ignore.
The unlikely couple moves to Manhattan in hopes of forging an adult life together, but Jamey’s family intervenes in desperation, and the consequences of staying together are suddenly severe. And when a night out with old friends takes a shocking turn, Jamey and Elise find themselves fighting not just for their love but also for their lives.
On the surface, the premise seems okay. Two people from different backgrounds fall for each other and have to deal with stereotypes, prejudices, etc. But it reads a lot more like that Facebook husband who wants a medal for having a fat wife.
The prose is empty and melodramatic. It’s vulgar, and not in the sense that they have raunchy sex throughout (they do), but that you just feel dirty reading it–like you need to hold it away from you with two fingers and a Kleenex. You want to slink into the shower after reading the sleazy descriptions of people. Everyone Jamey meets is perceived as slimey, even when they are not. But he perceives himself this way too–damaged, sticky, no longer the holier than thou Yale boy he is supposed to be–a fallen angel who has disappointed everyone.
White Fur falls into that Literary Fiction categories of books I hate but am compelled to finish to find out how disastrous it ends. Because they always end disastrously. They have to, in order to have any sort of meaning, right? And yet, I always feel so miserably empty afterwards, and this book is no exception to the rule.
I need to go wash my hands.
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