This was an enjoyable book. It was well-written and contained interesting characters, but my one complaint would be that there were too many convenienThis was an enjoyable book. It was well-written and contained interesting characters, but my one complaint would be that there were too many convenient occurrences near the end of the book. For instance, Marion just so happens to run into three individuals from his past in New York City who happen to have a serious impact on the denouement of the story. Just a little sloppy for my taste....more
This book is simply adorable. The writing is vibrant and I was immediately seduced by the characters... especially Flavia and her father's loyal gardeThis book is simply adorable. The writing is vibrant and I was immediately seduced by the characters... especially Flavia and her father's loyal gardener, Dogger.
There are a few things about the book that kept me from giving it five stars. For one, while Flavia is a wonderful character, some of her dialogue makes her seem too fantastical to be true. This is most noticeable in her final conversation with the Inspector in her laboratory at the end of the novel. Furthermore, while the interactions between Flavia and her sisters, Daphne and Ophelia, were amusing, the two latter characters were too one-note to take seriously. Ophelia is obsessed with her appearance and Daphne likes books... and that's the extent of their personalities the author gives us.
Finally, the mystery was a little bit too transparent to warrant a fifth star. I knew who the killer was about halfway through the book and I was a little taken aback that it took so long for Flavia to deduce who it was.
That said, the book gave me numerous laugh-out-loud moments and I had a lot more fun with it than I did with other books I've read recently. Give it a go!...more
I tried really hard to like this book, because my sister ranks it among her favourites and she gave a copy to me for Christmas. Undoubtedly, the bookI tried really hard to like this book, because my sister ranks it among her favourites and she gave a copy to me for Christmas. Undoubtedly, the book contains some beautiful poetry, but there's so much of it that the plot gets bogged down to the point of nonexistence.
I can't for the life of me tell you what happened in this book, aside from the following plot details: Jakob gets rescued from the Nazis by a benevolent Greek archaeologist, then moves to Canada with him, where he proceeds to have two fairly uneventful love affairs. Most of this information is revealed in the summary on the back of the book.
I understand why many people like this book. Anne Michaels is obviously very talented with words, but her plotting leaves a lot to be desired. I like poetry as much as the next person, but I need to have it in doses. There is a lot to be unpacked in a poem, and it just feels like a huge, painful struggle to unpack 200+ pages worth of it, especially when it seems like the story itself is just plodding along.
I believe, on the other hand, that a novel should marry lyricism with a strong plot. For that is exactly the purpose of a novel: to tell a story. I can forgive an author whose skill with words is average so long as they give me an engaging plot and characters. I am less willing to forgive an author who gives me the reverse....more