novel, n. and adj.
How a book can tell the oldest story known to man, but in a new and interesting way.
A love story dressed as dictionary entries: arranged alphabetically, not chronologically.
A relationship constructed with words. Words defined by the relationship.
David Levithan's novel of a modern love story told entirely in dictionary entries is a witty jaunt through one couple's relationship highs and lows. The narrator defines each chosen word with a vignette--a brief illustration, sometimes no more than a sentence, of what the word means to the couple.
I was hooked from the very first entry (aberrant) to the concluding entry (zenith). This novel ranges in depth from fresh and sweet to heartbreaking and bitter--all in the span of the alphabet. It even sent me to the actual dictionary a few times, especially when an entry could only be considered a "definition" in the most abstract sense.
Reading this book made me wish I had thought of this idea. My story would be different, but the unique format intrigues me. This would make a good writing exercise, even a personal self-reflection. A Rachel's Dictionary. We all bring baggage to the words in our lives--what feelings, stories, and memories would you attach to the words in your dictionary?