The figurative language of Ann Napolitano….

Reading time: About 1 minute

I like to share interesting pieces of figurative language I encounter in my reading. I write today about a series of similes from the American writer Ann Napolitano…

I’d heard all the buzz about a new novel by Ann Napolitano. Rave reviews. Selection by the Oprah book club. A feature in the New York Times.

I’m often suspicious when a new book appears to be such a hot shot. But I’m pleased to tell you that Hello Beautiful is the real deal. Writer Ann Napolitano has not only created a compelling plot — it’s a kind of a Little Women for Italian Americans — but she’s done so with rich and luscious language.

Here are my favourite examples:

  • Julia and the sister on her other side were studying him like jewelry appraisers sizing up a stone.
  • July had seen photos of Rose, pretty and tidy and smiling in this same garden, with Charlie at the beginning of their marriage, but her mother had eventually accepted and donned marital disappointment the same way she strapped on her ridiculous gardening outfit.
  • She loved the hopeful look William directed at her, as if he were a ship eyeing the ideal harbor.
  • William liked it when his fiancée spoke like that; he admired how Julia saw her life as a system of highways to be expertly navigated, and he was grateful to be in her car.
  • The father and daughter had walked home, their arms touching, molecules dancing between them, and the stars turning on like tiny lightbulbs in the evening sky.
  • [Pregnant] Julie felt as big as the ocean, and her thoughts swam like fish in her head.
  • He was seven feet tall and ran like a tree that had been uprooted from its forest.
  • Sylvie nodded, and then they were both quiet for a few minutes. The quiet was loud, like the ambient rush of a white-noise machine.
  • Julia became aware of her own anger. She felt like she’d caught it from Cecilia, as if the emotion were a cold.
  • “Another night would be better,” Julia said. She had the sense that today’s schedule was tipping away from her, like a plate falling off a table.
  • Julia was clutching her purse as if it were a life preserver.
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