Leary Blaine's Reviews > Christine Falls

Christine Falls by Benjamin Black
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May 18, 2010

it was ok
Read in May, 2010

All the little things in this book are wonderful: the fully crafted and nuanced characters; the intense imagery within even the smallest vignette; the careful layering of mood and tone in the scenes. Each paragraph makes itself well worth reading. Each one is enjoyable.

And the characters go on some deep inner journeys! They're not generally a happy lot, but that just makes it more interesting. They all learn some transformational things about what propels them. In fact, some of them learn that they've been 'running on fumes' for literally decades.

"Christine Falls" is very much the kind of book I would like to think I could write! Simultaneously, however, and to my somewhat unpleasant surprise, it furnishes the exact reason (and example of) why I don't do it: I've always been afraid that I would create all these delicious characters, then fail to give them something sufficiently compelling to do.

That's what's happened here. They're all dressed up, with no place to go. The "Big Mystery" at the center is anticlimactic. All these interesting people wrap their lives around a core that just isn't worth the fuss.

It's relatively easy to discern what's "hidden" at a fairly early stage. And there are certainly some twists, but they tend to feel rather contrived ... twists for the sake of twists. Twists just to show you that you didn't have it 100.0% figured out a hundred pages ago.

Yes, yes ... we all sin. And, doggone it, this book is gonna show you that! And, yep, we all do it just about equally (just wait and see!). And, yep, we're all found out in the end. And, yep, we all suffer for it. So, yeah, if you enjoy wallowing in Irish intra-family misery and Catholic guilt, jump in and have a party!

Me? I would have preferred giving these excellent characters something better to do with themselves.
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03/28/2016 marked as: read

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