Top critical review
10 people found this helpful
on 23 April 2011
I echo the voices of other reviewers who state that the description of Sri Lanka was enthralling and beautiful. The first section of the book was absolutely absorbing and I really felt I had stumbled across a gem of a book.
However, as soon as Alice moves to London, it was as if another author had taken over from Tearne. The characters were one dimensional, Alice's abandonment of her beloved grandfather and best friend was incomprehensible (even with the explanation that she was `angry').
The book took a really strange pace as the chapters progressed (a chance meeting on one page, jumped to a marriage, child and divorce on the next). It bounded at a silly pace quite honestly that jarred against the slow highly descriptive first section. I have thought perhaps this was intentional - to show the contrast between her life in Sri Lanka and the life she had in London where she never felt she belonged. But quite frankly it doesn't work, and it is very difficult to find any connection with characters that are so swiftly introduced and removed again, in a matter of pages, thus making it difficult to really understand Alice's reaction and emotions.
I don't agree that it was `too sad', life is no picnic! However it attempts to tackle some hard hitting issues in both Sri Lanka and London that don't quite marry together in this book, it felt as if the author had spread too thinly, not really getting to the core of either issue.
I was so very disappointed with this book. It took me a matter of hours to get through the first, beautiful section, only to force myself for weeks to finish it. It's a begrudging two star - so much potential wasted!