Andie Murray's Reviews > The Mill River Recluse

The Mill River Recluse by Darcie Chan
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's review
Jan 26, 2012

did not like it
bookshelves: fiction
Read from January 24 to 26, 2012

I downloaded a sample of this book after hearing about it on Len Edgerley's "The Kindle Chronicles" podcast. It's an excellent podcast and Len has an MFA so I just assumed he would only recommend good books. I am quite disappointed. The sample drew me in enough that I figured it was worth the .99 to download the book, but after reading it I have to say...I don't understand over 400 5-star reviews for this work.

The characters are entirely 1-dimensional, either all-good or all-bad. Really no in-between gray area whatsoever, unless you count the fact that Father O'Brien has a strange spoon-pilfering habit, which is ultimately harmless. The plot and all of the characters' actions are completely 100% predictable, and the plot is extremely predictable as well. This was unexpected given that there's this major attempt by the author to make the "big reveal" at the end some sort of surprise. Believe me, by about the third chapter you'll have figured out what this "big reveal" is.

Also, as another reviewer pointed out, some of the dialogue is a little strange - in particular, there is a moment where Kyle and Claudia are having dinner and Kyle says at the end that he feels he is in a "food coma." Claudia thinks this is just about the funniest thing she's ever heard, and the reader is left under the impression that the author thinks she has invented this term for the very first time.

Perhaps this final note is a minor point, but it irritated me to no end. EVERY SINGLE TIME "Crazy Daisy" is mentioned in the book, and it's a lot toward the end, she is referred to as "the little round lady." Seriously, I think once or twice would have driven the point home. I get it, she's little. She's round. Now can we just call her Daisy, please?

The writing is on about a 3d-grade reading level, which I guess didn't bother me too much, but it's definitely such a saccharine, over-the-top "heartwarming" story that it feels juvenile to say the least. A little edge would have gone a long way.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by CJC (new) - rated it 2 stars

CJC I completely agree with your review. Glad someone else agrees with me on the food coma bit. I actually had to read that piece a few times –are we meant to think Claudia is an idiot for thinking that the food coma comment was so funny or are we meant to think food coma is just that clever? It just left me thinking ‘I can’t believe I am still reading this’.

Brenda Sorrels I heard about it the same way you did and was disappointed.

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