Linda’s Book Obsession Reviews “Hieroglyphics” by Jill McCorkle, Algonquin, 2020
Jill McCorkle, Author
Jill McCorkle, the author of “Hieroglyphics” has written a poignant and intriguing novel. The Genres for this novel are Literary Fiction and Family Drama. Much of the story takes place in North Carolina. There are various timelines in this story. The author describes her characters as complex, complicated, dysfunctional. The themes of this story deal with the obsession of death, and the difficulty of living. There is a contrast between older characters, vs. younger characters, the children. Many of the ideas that have passed through the generations have been imprinted from the grandparents to the parents to the children.
Jill McCorkle vividly describes the characters, the events, the plot, and the scenery. This is a challenging and at times difficult book to read. Each of the characters has the memories of their family which some choose to relive and some choose to forget. Some of the family deaths were from a train wreck and a fire. A few of the characters are obsessed with the scene of the accident.
Frank and Lil are an older couple. Frank is obsessed with death, and Lil records and keeps notes of what is going on. Frank wants to visit his childhood home where Shelley is raising a young troubled son. Shelley is fearful of letting the older man and his wife come into the house. Shelley’s son is obsessed with strange and weird things, and because of his strange ideas presents a problem acting out in school. Shelley transcribes cases in the court and recently has been immersed in a murder.
This is a heavy thought-provoking novel that I would recommend for readers who enjoy a challenge, and a dark story.