Top critical review
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Some good ideas, but too contrived on the whole
on 6 January 2000
I tried to give Robin Pilcher's book as objective a chance as possible. I have read all his mother's books, though I really only liked the latter ones like "The Shellseekers" and "September", and when I started on "An Ocean Apart" I really wanted to see him as an author in his own rights. Alas, it didn't work, because - consciously or unconsciously - his style is VERY much like his mother's. And even some of the storylines (like the foodpoisoning)or the locations (Leesport - is there no other place in the USA?) are heavily reminiscent of Rosamunde Pilcher's "Under Gemini" and "September". I think there are quite a few good ideas here that led to way too may storylines or plot and sub-plots. I also find some of it far too contrived and removed from reality. There are, however, some really touching moments, usually the flashbacks which describe David and Rachel's courtship, marriage, first-baby-experiences and Rachel's illness. These scenes give a glimpse of the sensitivity Robin Pilcher is capable of describing. Unfortunately the over-all effect is one of an overload of ideas and subjects the author tried to cramp into one piece of work - less would probably have been more. But if you find yoursef at a loss as to what to do on a rainy afternoon "An Ocean Apart" may while away a few hours for you.