Jennifer's Reviews > Daughters of the House

Daughters of the House by Michèle Roberts
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Aug 18, 2012

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bookshelves: lit
Read from August 11 to 18, 2012

2.5 stars. I expected that I would love this book; it has so many of my favorite plot elements. Ancestral family home? Check. Long buried family secrets? Check. A slightly unreliable narrator? Check. And yet, put all together, all these checks ended up adding up to a mediocre read, at best, for me.

A large part of my problem was the writing style. The chapters, each centered around an object in the Martin family home, were so short (typically just a few pages long) that I never really got into the story. There was no flow. And the secrets, forever hinted at and such a large part of Therese's and Leonie's life, were mostly left as secrets. While I understand that the point wasn't necessarily that there were secrets -- that the possibility of them was enough to do the damage, as it were -- it still left me frustrated.

I did appreciate how Roberts presented both the main characters in a way that left me constantly switching to whom I felt the more sympathy. First Therese in the present, then Leonie in the flashback, and finally in the end, both. Which I guess was the point of the story, and well done.

But overall, I found this rather dull and had to force myself to pick up the book; never a good sign!
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Reading Progress

08/13/2012 page 126
57.0% "Slow going so far, as neither of the girls are very likable, and the chapters are very short. Hard to get drawn in."

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