2 out of 5 stars.
I would like to thank Simon and Schuster Australia for providing me with a free ARC of this book, via Netgalley, in exchange for an open and honest review.
Okay, so you can see by the score I wasn’t a fan… please don’t hate me as there is some (hopefully) good constructive criticism coming to explain why. If I gave half scores, it would be at least a 2.5… maybe even a 2.75 out of 5 if that helps?
Firstly, this was a well written book of containing some great details, well scripted imagery and, in most parts, engaging characters. The low score is due to me not gelling with the book and therefore based on my reaction rather than to its quality. They quality could not be faulted.
Time for the but… BUT! I am not a fan of literary fiction and this story bordered a little too much on that – in its “adults fiction” genre – than I like. And the mystery and suspense just wasn’t there for me as much as I had hoped from the blurb.
I found the pace of the book excruciatingly slow (I went off and read two other books to wake up my brain) and honestly felt like 90% of the story was just padding and it was just the last 10% of the book that was worth it. And, without trying to throw out any spoilers, that outcome in Venice… why was Venice even involved really? It seemed tacked on to add spice and excitement (failed) and to show the author knew how to describe the city and add to the globe-trotting promised thrill. It didn’t for me – sorry.
And for a person who had spent over a year in the Antarctic and didn’t seem too sensitive to the cold when there, she did come across as a bit of a wuss in the Nantucket winter when she found that so cold it needed to be mentioned almost every sentence.
Then that ending? It was as if Ms Turner had raced to reach her word count and then decided to throw a disjointed “happily ever after” in without then going over the said word count. It was rushed, clumsy and left a lot of unanswered questions as it tried to tie the story up in a nice, neat package and hide the holes by adding a big, colourful bow to distract you.
Ack, I am being too harsh, I am so sorry Ms Turner, you wrote a good book, I am just not The Reader for it. But I hope I’ve explained why I wasn’t a fan.
Maybe it’s because I am more a crime fiction, mystery/suspense, cosy crime reader than I am an “adult fiction” (bordering on literary fiction) reader? As, for me, this was slow, barely kept the thread of the plot without constantly having to recap and all in all I only finished it as I felt it deserved being read from cover to cover because it was by an Australian author.
Would I recommend this book to others?
Probably not. But that is only because I don’t know many friends who enjoy the genre this book actually is – don’t be fooled by the blurb! Yes if I happened to be chatting to someone into this genre I would recommend it wholeheartedly. But for my fellow crime fiction fans? No… just don’t.
Would I buy this book for myself?
Unsurprisingly – no. Just not my cup of tea I’m sorry. The book is not to fault, I am, for thinking it was a genre I liked when it really wasn’t. I get more mystery and thrills out of emptying my son’s school bag each week – and there have been some doozies of finds in there as he is a bit of a blackbird with gross collections!
In summary: A well written “adult fiction” book that borders on literary fiction more than it does to mystery and crime. There are those who will love this book and good on them! Sadly I was the wrong person for the book and so you ended up with this review.
Until next time,