Every month I attempt to remember to join in with other bloggers posting up book reviews. It also helps me to remember to keep making time to read: if you want to write then reading is essential!
The Island, Victoria Hislop, Headline Book Publishing
This book was given to me by a friend who had inadvertently ended up with two copies. It came with a shrug. I soon picked up why. The story is well researched, well intentioned, the writing isn't what I would identify as bad, exactly. I feel like a heel for pointing this out, actually, because a story with a kind heart is a good thing: but there is far too much tell and not enough show. I like to work things out for myself. Show me a scene, I'll know if people are happy or sad or complicated. I'd rather make up my own mind, it makes me more involved, and the further into the story I go the more this applies. For example, if on page 206 I need to be told that a key protagonist 'was a mistress of restraint… In this way she kept up the appearance of being contented' maybe the writer doesn't think I have bothered to notice this character trait? Is that a lack of confidence in the writer or the reader? One feels slighted! Still, it was a debut novel. I hope a stronger editor or some honest friends will help shake the annoyances out. I didn't regret reading it.
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