I was so excited about this book, reading the pre-publication praise and summaries. However, once I finished it, I was left wanting more, specifically more insight into the characters. I thought the brief explanation of Edie's childhood where her mom fed her to comfort her was too facile and reductionist as an explanation for her later obesity. It didn't do justice to her as a character to reduce her complete self-destruction through food in that way. She was the most interesting and engaging part of the book, but, like the other charaters, not very well developed. I felt the promise of the book (a comprehensive portrait of a family) was not fullfilled. It was more like a sketch of a family.
Well, my 6 year old and 4 year old really like it. I feel the plot is bizarre and rambling and hard to follow. On the plus side, the brief insights/references into life in Norway are fun, and it doesn't condescend to its audience. But overall I find it somewhat hard to get engaged in as an adult. But, I'm not the target audience so I probably should let my 6 year old weigh in- "it's awsome"!
In reading reviews I was concerned this would be "horror" like a horror movie. I don't watch horror movies and stear clear of media that are too violent or scary (for me Silence of the Lambs, though good, was too scary). I debated whether or not to buy this based on others' descriptions of the book as being like a Stephen King or modern horror classic. Just FYI for anyone else who doesn't like that genre, this book is not "horror" in that way. It is more sci fi/adventure or more classic "horror" like Lovecraft or Poe. In terms of scare-factor, it's comparable to the TV show, "Lost". Also, it was a great listen, very engaging, didn't want to pause it, etc.
I already have twice
I started reading/listening to Georgette Heyer about 4 years ago and just fell into the rabbit hole. It's all I wanted to read/listen to. This one is my favorite because I laughed out loud and it was somewhat less predictable than the others (not that predictability takes away from enjoyment of those others-much). I think I may have teared up at a few points too, and I'm pretty jaded generally. I also love The Unknown Ajax and The Black Sheep. If you are just starting with Georgette Heyer, start with one of those, as they are more in her typical mold, and save this one for a "palate cleanser" when you want one that is less typical.
Lost a little in the last quarter, but that's better than so many fantasy books out there that it didn't take much away. Well-written, engaging, just felt the ending didn't live up to the awesome beginning. Would reommend it to any fantasy lover, or even to a non-fantasy reader like myself, who just likes a good story.
the young-adult-ness of the writing is pretty painfully obvious and really served to distract me from the narrative. It seems the intended audience is more 11-13 rather than teens, per se.(and yeah, I'm 36 but have loved YA in the past, see below) At first I thought it was just the narrator's fault for sounding so didactic, but I eventually came around to the fact that it's also the prose. "there were so many secrets. they all had secrets. I wanted to ask all the secrets, to know their answers, but no one was talking" this is (bad paraphrase, but I heard this sentiment repeated 15 times in the first part of the book. I really wanted this to take me where "Hunger Games" did. and it really didn't.
Wow- wanted to listen in 1 straight shot, but needed to sleep in between. Very gripping story. there's a bit of YA silliness, but only a bit. got used to the narrator pretty quickly, although at the beginning she was enunciating so distinctly it sounded like she was addressing a very slow child.
Overall the story was engrossing and I can't wait for the sequel. Would caution the squeamish that there's some pretty gruesome violence.
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