Chaos and Clarity

Hannah Tennant-Moore’s Wreck and Order features a hyper-sexual woman leaving her home in a pursuit to be true to herself and experience the world.

Elsie is fortunate enough in her life to be able to decide to forgo traditional education and entry in to the workforce and instead travels while being supported by her father’s inheritance checks. Learning more about the world through visiting and experiencing it, specifically in Sri Lanka, Elsie is able to frame her life choices, particularly her desire for deviant sexual habits. Meditating and separating herself from a “normal” life, Elsie comes to terms with who she is and why she behaves the way she does.

Throughout the text there were some nuggets of “enlightened wisdom” that Elsie attained, but when presented it felt preachy and didactic rather than a natural progression and presentation of events. It’s as if the narrative set out to be a grittier Eat, Pray, Love and fell short of the mark. I typically don’t mind characters who are detestable but the way that Elsie behaves is not likable and reminiscent of child, which she might psychologically be developmentally stunted at, but she’s a woman near 30 and her actions come across as whiny. While a comparison between her life in America and her life in Sri Lanka is needed, Sri Lanka was by far the more interesting because of the cultural aspects incorporated in the narrative.

Overall, I’d give it a 2 out of 5 stars.

*I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

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