Top critical review
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I love Marika Cobbold's writing, but I have certain reservations about the plot of this novel...
on 1 October 2011
Oh dear, what can I say? I do love Marika Cobbold's writing, especially 'Frozen Music' and 'Guppies for Tea' (the two that I've read more than once, and would happily re-read again!), and I've read all of her work. But I can't give this book five stars, not if I'm giving honest rather sycophantic feedback. There was so much that I did enjoy about this novel, especially all the detail about Eliza's life, her guilt, her past, her work in ceramics, and her return to Sweden, but I feel there's a huge flaw in the plot, as glaring as the crack on the tea cup on the cover of the book. It would be dishonest of me not to mention it, and if I'd been Marika's agent/publisher/editor I'd have advised her to remove it. Without posting a spoiler, I'll just say I'm alluding to the Sandra/Cassandra narrative, and the plot device implicit in it, which, to my mind, is clunky and obtrusive, a cheap trick and for me, just doesn't work. This would have been a far stronger book without Sandra/Cassandra; I'd love to give this book five stars, and maybe others won't be as critical as me. Don't be put off by my reservations!