Hieroglyphics is the newest story by award-winning and New York Times bestselling novelist Jill McCorkle. In a time when family is more important than ever, McCorkle reverently tells the story of how grief and family continually affect and shape our lives.

Lil and Frank have grown old together and are taking the next step in their life and moving to North Carolina. They’re moving to the same place that Frank spent the second part of his childhood. His second family home is now occupied by a young woman named Shelley and her son Harvey. These two seemingly unconnected stories weave together a complex narrative of the past and how it affects the present.

Having both lost parents at a young age, Lil and Frank bond over that in the early part of their relationship. Through diary entries and self-reflection, we learn about how these tragedies shaped who they are as people and influence the decisions they continue to make. From how cautiously or daring they lived, the choices they made out of fear of regret, and the daily or yearly rituals that come with a need to connect to those we’ve lost.

Shelley just wants to keep her son safe and a roof over their head. Through her work in the courthouse, Shelley bears witness to horrifying accounts of human violence and while she thinks she does a good job of keeping work and home life separate, the wild imagination of her young son is tormented by the information he hears from her and his older brother who is away at college. Left to herself when her partner broke up with her, Shelley is resistant to have Frank enter her home and notices his car whenever he comes by, putting her even more on edge.

As their stories begin to form around each other and reveal new pieces of them, each person must accept where they are and what they have made. Stories of family, loss, betrayal, and hope, McCorkle unfurls a multi-dimensional tale founded on love and the desire for something more.

I found this book to be a little slow. There is little to no dialogue and that made it hard for me to enjoy the pacing of the story. That being said, I think the pacing fits the story which I realize sounds weird. It’s a story about life and how long it can be sometimes so it would make sense that the story felt long too. Or maybe I’m just trying to justify it, who knows? If the description sounds at all interesting, I suggest picking it up. If not, don’t, lol, why put yourself through it?

Published by keelinrita

A Chicago girl with a lot of feelings about fictional people.

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