I’m trying my best to get back to reading, I love reading under the blankets with a hot cup of tea when it’s raining outside. Best feeling ever. It was much easier when I was in school, there was a plethora of more time and it was simpler. There was less time spent stressing which results in exhaustion, I mostly come home now, shower and knock out on the couch until dinner time. It’s quite sad. LOL. Recent 2-3 years I’ve only read about 4 books I’d say and I really want to up that count again to at least a dozen books a year. So here’s to the first book review!
** SPOILER ALERT! **
I am… Quite stunned by the raving reviews this book had (Goodreads is where I usually lurk for books to read as well as garner their ratings). It was originally why I started reading this it thinking it was going to be a really good book. I don’t read other people’s reviews before I read a particular book just in case, I don’t want any spoilers now! (I just skim the star ratings to see if it’s worth a read).
It wasn’t rock bottom bad because I’ve definitely read much worse, but it wasn’t a book that I would’ve gone out of my way “I can’t wait to get back to it” reaction I got reading “The Rules of Magic”, but tolerable enough that I managed to finish it. It had momentary good emotional moments, seasonal descriptions along with detailed mentions of different city atmosphere and landscapes that I enjoyed.
Why didn’t I fall in love with it? This book’s plot was so abrupt as well as character development and relationships. This whole book was an entire lifetime of six (and possibly more, I can’t completely recall) characters as a result it felt really jumbled and rushed. Then there’s the transition of events and scenes in the story which were also VERY rushed and abrupt. The reader would be in one scene and the next thing you know you’re somewhere else not knowing how you got to that part (i.e. you’re in Massachusetts, next, suddenly in New York). Books play like movies in my head when I read, reading this book was like watching a movie with a plethora of plot holes and lacked well written transitions. It was very choppy making it difficult to read and play out in my head.
As for character development and relationships, felt nonexistent like everyone were just a tissue paper to be used. I usually get really into characters’ lives when I read, but this time I didn’t feel anything for any of them because everyone’s perspective was so short then it would suddenly shift to another character. Characters came and went like they weren’t important and there were quite a few of them. Example: The only two mains that seemed constant were Frances Owens and Bridget Owens (sisters). Then there’s their youngest brother, Vincent Owens, supposedly a third main, but seemed like a trifle character that the author decided to throw in just for show that they needed someone rebellious and sexual. Out of nowhere he ends up falling in love with a man named William Grant. No lead up to it, no foreshadowing– William showed up out of the blue in the book (he was NEVER mentioned before) and Vincent falls madly in love with this man. Then he ended up disappearing midway through the story.
Things like falling in love (which is usually a big and important event in a person’s life) in a story usually takes time to work and write up to, it doesn’t just happen out of nowhere you know? And people shouldn’t die just because but it happened quite often in this book, spend time reading about a character then the author decides to kill them off.
This book just wasn’t really my cup of tea.
Author: Alice Hoffman
Published: October 10th 2017