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The Other Side of You by Salley Vickers
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Jun 15, 2009

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Read in June, 2009

I read this book with pleasure. It's neatly plotted and written with skill and a certain buttoned-up elegance. But I was left with doubts about its final success. First, did anyone else find the narrator unconvincing? I would have found the book more believable if the narrative voice had been female, because David never fully persuaded me that he was male. I didn't expect Rambo, but there was something oddly neutered about the character that goes beyond the psychological damage he'd no doubt suffered. I also had problems with the speed with which Elizabeth decided to tell her tale. I know narrative time scales are necessarily more economical than those in real life, but there are ways and ways of disguising this, and I don't feel that it was particularly well done in this novel. There's also something rather precious and old-maidenly about the way the nature of love is represented that, despite the recruitment of Caravaggio and the slightly improbably figure of Thomas, finally started to irritate me. So it's a slightly reluctant three stars. But definitely better than the rather dreadful Mr Golightly's Holiday by the same author.
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Reading Progress

06/15/2009 page 50

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Jamie I'm only 3 chapters in and have just paused to add this book to my goodreads shelf. I too am finding the narrator to be distractingly non-male ('neutered' fits perfectly).

Ruby Yeah, I wondered about the 'maleness' of the character too, but figured as a woman myself I may not be the best judge. Her male characters remind me of romantic leads in bad soap operas, or the male figures in Bronte novels - ie - Thomas=Heathcliff, David=Edgar. I also found David's interest in Elizabeth a bit difficult to swallow. Her writing is very well constructed and a pleasure to read, but only if the reader manages to leave any expectations of credibility at the door.

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