Top critical review
A Difficult Writing Style
on 18 March 2016
This book is about Virginia. She is a top consultant gynecologist who gives papers around the world & people aspire to be part of her team. It is also the story of the internal Virginia that no one apart from Ruby knows.
This was a very difficult book to read. There is no continuity about it at all. Each chapter comes from a different point in time & they tell the story not just of Virginia's life but of people who have been involved with her life; her mother, her father, her cleaner, her registrar, her friend... However, we are not just jumping around Virginia's timeline but also these people's timelines. There is no real continuity or flow at all. I usually quite enjoy books which have several threads going through them & am quite happy with different timescales but this was just a bit much for me. As there are so many different people & places in time involved, in no particular order, I was about half way through the book before I managed to get any grasp on the story at all. The disjointed nature of the narration also meant that I forgot certain events that had happened in earlier chapters & did find myself going back & re-reading chapters again. This happened particularly at the end.
I enjoyed the actual concept of the book. However, it is difficult to explain to you why without giving the game away. This is very much a book that you need to discover for yourself. Revealling too much here would definitely clarify things but at the same time it would loose some of it's impact.
Virginia is an amazing character. A real person of extremes. Although I can't say that I have ever met anyone remotely like her, I have seen small bits of her personality in other people. I can also see that the snatches of disquiet people feel about her are very real. I found Virginia a very interesting & complex character & had I settled to the style of this book better, I feel that I would be awarding this at least another star, maybe more. The supporting characters in this book are well written. The author is able to place an idea of a character's personality in the reader's mind in a matter of pages. Some author's don't manage this in an entire book!
The subject matter of the book is slightly disturbing. Trust, or rather the lack of it, is an integral part of this story. People that we should be able to trust such as parents, friends & Drs don't always turn out to deserve the trust we place in them.
The actual plot of this story is excellent but I struggled terribly with the structure. Had this been written in a different way I think I may have enjoyed it more. I do feel that it is worth trying this book as the actual plot & charactersare good. Hopefully others will cope better with the structure & therefore be able to enjoy this book more than I was.