I read The Maytrees by Annie Dillard last week. And for a while I was perplexed. To be honest, I didn’t really enjoy reading the book, even though I was quite aware that it was well written and well told. Beautiful imagery surges off of the page, and Dillard interlaces the philosophy of community, relationships, and love into the narrative.
After attempting multiple times to verbalize why I didn’t enjoy the novel, I realized that my taste in fiction differs too drastically from Dillard’s.
For example, I like heavy blankets and hot food. I like writing with weight and texture. Dillard’s writing is the opposite; it is light and cool. It has sparse wording and underplayed emotions, both of which are not my cup of tea. The Maytrees is more like iced tea, and frankly, I’m not a fan of iced tea.
For a while I felt guilty for disliking the book. But I feel better about it now that I have realized that it’s simply a matter of taste. I can appreciate it just fine from afar. It’s okay that I don’t enjoy every good book that comes my way. Many of my classmates enjoyed it, and I hope that you will enjoy it too.
Before you pick it up, I’ll warn you;