Wednesday, 11 February 2015

A poignant tale set in savage British Columbia

How do you move on if the past won't let you go? 

The loss of her mother has left Kali McKenzie with too many unanswered questions. But while clearing out Elena's art studio, she finds a drawer packed with postcards, each bearing an identical one-line message from a Canadian gallery owner called Susannah Gillespie: Thinking of you. Who is this woman and what does she know about Elena's hidden past? Desperate to find out, Kali travels with her toddler, Finn, to Susannah's isolated home on a remote British Columbian island, a place of killer whales and storms. But as bad weather closes in, Kali quickly realises she has made a big mistake. The handsome and enigmatic Susannah refuses to talk about the past, and as Kali struggles to piece together what happened back in the 1970s, Susannah' behaviour grows more and more erratic. Most worrying of all, Susannah is becoming increasingly preoccupied with little Finn... 

A tense, thrilling novel about a family divided by secrets, and the lengths a mother will go to protect her child.

I really don’t know why I completed this book other than the fact that I am a compulsive book finisher, but I am glad that I did.

I really did not like the character of Kali; she was a whiner and winger of the highest order.  She set out on her own mission heading nothing and no one.  Kali is totally self-centred almost to a point of obsession.  She is a mother of a two-year old who she takes on a trek with very little thought or planning!  Who in their right mind would do that but oh wait she’s grieving (if that is an excuse).  Her reason for the trek was to find out about her mother.  To be honest though who really knows what their mother was like before they were born?  Children only really ever learn what their parents are willing to tell them.

The other character equally unlikeable was Susannah.  She too was selfish, stand offish and untrustworthy but for entirely different reasons.

This reader felt that the wonderful descriptions of the rugged landscape were made often at the expense of the storyline.  Likewise the many conversations between Susannah and Kali, Kali and Doug, and Kali and her son were repetitive beyond belief causing the story to flag in all the wrong places.

I had already guessed part of the plot line but not everything.  The book was a plodder until about 80% when it took off at a break neck pace but honestly the things Alice didn’t realise had been done to her I was like WHHHHAATTT!!!

I do not think the payoff warranted the time spent reading this novel and will find it difficult to read another book by this author.

Full Disclosure: ARC received from Netgalley for an honest review.

I gave the review a 2 star Netgalley rating, and an ‘I did not like it’ rating on (2 stars) and (1 star).

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