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The Stranger's Child

The Stranger's Child - Alan Hollinghurst What a frustrating mess of a novel!As it meandered through generations of awkward misunderstandings and flirtations, there's no character to serve as an anchor from jump to jump and no narrative arc. The closest I can get to gleaning the point of Hollinghurst's experiment is a vague notion that he is trying show the progress of homosexuality over the course of a century; how courtship and public acceptance (or lack of) have evolved. If that was the goal, I am no more enlightened on the subject by the end of the book.The biggest mystery of The Stranger's Child (oh, besides the title: who the heck is the stranger's child?) is how this one made the cut of sixteen titles for the 2012 Tournament of Books. The prose is okay, the characters are unmemorable, the lack of plot is not a structural literary challenge so much as a dearth of thread. It's not even really hate-able (I'm looking at you, 1Q84) in a way that could spark some emotional debate.The Stranger's Child is a non-entity.