This book is currently one of Richard and Judy's summer reads - a light book to be enjoyed on the sun lounger! Do you agree? Does it deserve to be one of the eight titles on their list? We'd love to know your opinion!
I finished it last night and thought it was a very good ending, it brought all the emotions from throughout to a final climax, however I will say that I thought it was drawn out too long. I had worked out the twists right from the start, but if you try to see the book more about the emotions and the attitudes of the time it all makes sense. All in all I enjoyed it. Especially the comparisons between the pre and post war events. You have to have an interest in history to enjoy it.
All I can say is that either Richard, Judy or their producer has very, very wide tastes, or they didn't actually bother to read this book. I recently read another R'n'J book, 'Star of the Sea' by Joseph O'Connor - and what a contrast! O'Connor is a very intelligent, sophisticated writer who explores depths that would never even occur to the shallow, predictable Morton. Apart from being a superb story, 'Star of the Sea' is in many ways a jaw-droppingly sobering read, detailing the almost unbelievable racism of the English towards the Irish in the 19th century (they were routinely portrayed as monkeys for example).
Ms Morton is a million miles from this level of intellectual sophistication. Others have have (rightly in my opinion) flagged up the wafer-thin characters and the creaking, oh-so-predictable plot. If you read my review of the book you'll see that I was unnecessarily irritated all the way through by stupid factual mistakes which are all down to the fact that the author lives on the other side of the world, and has had to try to learn almost everything about life in the UK. It's not her fault she gets so much laughably wrong, but it is her fault that she chose to write about a location and a society that she doesn't intrinsically understand. The golden rule of fiction is "write about what you know", a rule Kate Morton blithely ignores because she thinks her research is enough. Mind you judging by the many women (sic) who clearly enjoyed the book, there are enough readers who don't notice too many details about the world around them, have a shaky grasp of history, and don't notice the teeth-grinding 'name-dropping' of well-known events, brands etc, to make Ms. Morton a good few bob from her writing. (Note to Kate Morton: do some research and you'll find out what a 'bob' is!.....)