Well. This book certainly slowed me down. This was my second reading group book for this month and, well, frankly, I didn’t like it. I know when I am struggling with a book because I have no urge to read when I get into bed. That is so not like me. Fortunately, last night I had had too much coffee and couldn’t sleep so managed to get it finished. It was a relief to get to the last page.
Essentially, there is nothing hideously wrong with the book – it just doesn’t seem to go anywhere. Granted, this is not really my type of read anyway, but I found the characters irritating and the family drama a bit insipid. The story follows the life of Sadie, 50, divorced, with two children and an elderly father. When her father dies, she is forced to face her past with him whilst at the same time trying to deal with a difficult 12 year old. I felt that Sadie was a bit ‘fluffy’ and her 12 year old son, Jack, was a pain in the proverbial. Yes, I have never had children, so I am the first to admit I probably can’t relate to the difficulties, but his attitude was annoying, and the whole incident of Jack deciding to remain with the utterly obnoxious Audrey, an elderly stranger who had played a large albeit hidden role in Sadie’s life, was almost enough to make my put the book down and give up half way.
The story itself was well written. I think Rosie Thomas has a lovely way with words. Not poetic in an Eve Green kind of way, but still elegant and effective at painting a picture or a mood. Its just I felt that the story moved at snail’s pace until it hit several unbelievable dramas one after another towards the end. Yes, these dramas were supposed to catalyse the climax and the coming together of the family and friends, but they were pretty unconvincing.
My opinion, and it is just my opinion, is that I wouldn’t read another of her books. I have read ‘family discovery’ stories before and some I have really liked. But they aren’t my genre of choice and sadly this book reminded me why. We all have different tastes and I am never averse to trying a genre I normally steer away from. This time, it just didn’t work for me.
Publisher: Arrow Books
Date Finished: 26 February 2008
Challenge: T in the A-Z Challenge