Come As You Are by Jennifer Haupt
3/1/22; 320 pages
Central Avenue Publishing
Come As You Are by Jennifer Haupt is a recommended novel that is part family drama, part coming-of-age story.
and Skye meet as creative, lonely young teens, 14 and 12, and become
best friends. As Zane is the lead singer for his band, the two become
part of Seattle’s grunge scene in the early
’90s and dream of moving to LA. Then an accident happens to Skye's
sister that totally changes their world. The two become lovers, Skye
becomes pregnant and they leave their homes and any support system
behind. Now, ten years later Zane has been long gone for years, Skye is a
single mother to daughter Montana (Tana) and is newly engaged to Aaron.
The Skye's estranged father dies, Zane calls her, and she decides to
finally return to Seattle after a long absence.
The narrative unfolds through a dual timeline, alternating between the early 90's in Seattle and the present, in 2002, in New Mexico. There are also flashbacks. Often I appreciate novels that use alternating timelines, but the plot device wasn't entirely successful in this novel. Perhaps it was the number of transitions between the earlier time period and 2002, as well as flashbacks, that made this narrative device seem an overly confusing ploy rather than a good choice to propel the plot forward. After sticking with the novel, it was easier to just go along with the writing choice in order to find out what happens.
Many readers will be entranced by the depiction of the early grunge
scene in Seattle.
Really, much of this novel consists of characters coming-of-age while
all repeatedly making bad choices and bad decisions as they deal with
family drama. That can be entertaining whether you find the characters
appealing or not. The characters can be a bit frustrating because of
their choices, but, then, much of that is due to immaturity. The ending
wasn't entirely believable for me, however, plenty of readers are going to enjoy Come As You Are.