Clarice's Reviews > The Seance

The Seance by John Harwood
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's review
Jun 28, 2012

it was ok
Read from June 23 to 26, 2012

This story was told in 6 parts by 3 different characters. I really enjoyed the narratives of the two female characters, but found John Montague's narrative rambling.

Constance Langston’s first-person story of her lonely childhood and strained relationship with her parents in Part 1 was perfectly paced and seemed to be building up to something really interesting.

John Montague’s narrative started out with much atmosphere and promise of strange and exciting mysteries to be revealed in Part 2. Unfortunately, it wasn’t long before his part of the story seemed to ramble on and on providing many details which didn’t seem to have any relationship to the central mystery. Indeed, by the end of the book, I was certain that if a third of Montague’s narrative had been edited out, it would have improved the pacing of the story tremendously.

When Eleanor Unwin’s narrative began, the story became energized again and started slowly weaving enticing plot threads which promised to lead to satisfying conclusions. Alas, just as things seemed to be about to come to a head, the narrative switches back to John Montague’s perspective. Fortunately, Montague’s narrative is not as rambling as before, and I was hopeful that the final part would wrap up all the interesting threads. Unfortunately, after the slow (and extremely detailed) build up, I found Part 6 to be both over the top, and yet very predictable.

So, although I felt that large segments of John Montague’s narrative were pointless and rambling, and the ending was less than satisfactory, it was not so disappointing that it ruined the rest of the book for me. However, I could not enthusiastically recommend it to my friends.

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