Most helpful critical review
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
A great idea but poorly executed
on 15 November 2004
Having already read "Backpack" and "Baggage," I was really looking forward to my next Emily Barr read. The premise for this novel is brilliant - troubled girl becomes obsessed with the 2.4 family living next door, following them to Cuba, ingratiating herself into their lives and finally imagining she can "become" one of them. It has the same intricate and intriguing plot basis as Barr's other books ... but somehow ... something didn't quite work. The plot does keep you reading (despite the unlikely happy-ever-after, typing up of loose ends) and it is worth giving it a go, but the quality of the execution really doesn't live up to Barr's previous work. I blame the editor as much as Barr herself; it's as though no-one read it through after the first draft, before it went to print! Phrasing is awkward, words are poorly selected, the balance of the Brighton / Cuba periods doesn't feel right. I really wish Barr could come back to this and finish off what could so easily have been another absorbing novel. A great idea Emily, but come on, give us a little more of your usual polish in the execution!