The History of Great Things took me a bit to get my head wrapped around what was happening. It is a story of a mother and a daughter and they are speaking to each other as they are writing. I will admit that I was super confused for at least the first third of the book. The story is written as almost an autobiography of the lives of mother Lois and daughter Elizabeth. Each is telling the others story, sometimes true and sometimes made up and then they speak to each other at the end of the chapter.
The plot of The History of Great Things was very interesting. It ebbed and flowed between the two lives, but not in a straightforward way. I enjoyed the writing of Elizabeth Crane. I loved the humor and snark sprinkled throughout the story. The pacing was confusing as the time lines went back and forth between the two women and their lives. The world built was also a bit confusing as each perspective was skewed by the second hand telling. The emotions in The History of Great Things were great. The interplay between mother and daughter, the love and at times hate rode high. I had some trouble connecting with the characters as they were speaking for each other and so I never got a solid grasp on who they were.
I did like parts of The History of Great Things, but honestly I was so confused by the story telling that it was a difficult read for me. Elizabeth Crane was able to interject a lot of subtle humor in her writing and I really enjoyed that. I normally hate introductory chapters that lay out the story first, but I think The History of Great Things might have been a better read for me if I “got” the concept before I started. I did really enjoy the last half of the book, so hopefully others grasp this better than I did.
I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.