The figurative language of Jennifer Haigh…

Reading time: About 1 minute

I like to share interesting pieces of figurative language I encounter in my reading. I write today about similes from Jennifer Haigh….

The most recent novel by Jennifer Haigh takes on the topic of abortion. And as the New York Times puts it, ” it would be a terrible mistake to give it a miss because of its hot-button topic.”

The book, Mercy Street, has interesting and rewarding characters, a gripping plot and, perhaps unbelievably, a great deal of humour.

The book also contains some fine figurative language. Here are my favourite examples:

  • On Mondays, the line rang nonstop — fallout from the weekend, it’s psychic detritus scattered like confetti after a parade.
  • His most distinctive feature was a burly old-fashioned beard, the style favored by Ulysses S. Grant and the Smith Brothers, makers of cough drops. It hung halfway down his chest like a coarse woollen bib.
  • Married life was like walking around in shoes that almost fit.
  • He had never been to Methuen, a town that sounded like a sneeze.
  • The offending tooth, a rear molar, had spread its poison widely, a kind of guerrilla warfare.
  • The log house was freshness-sealed, tight as Tupperware.
  • Deb had been a lackadaisical housekeeper, and Nicolette was no better: dirty dishes in the sink the carpet dusted with potato chip crumbs like some persistent dandruff.
  • The costumes were weirdly revealing, in ways unflattering to a chubby child, her plump thighs squeezed like bratwurst into lacy stockings.
  • Grit on the windshield, fine as sugar
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