1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
an enjoyable read,
This review is from: Rites of Spring (Paperback)Adam is having a mid-life crisis; he hates his (well paid) job, and, when he is offered a significant promotion he throws his dummy out of the pram and walks out. Unfortunately, he omits to tell his wife, Sasha, about his new jobless status. When she does find out, she throws him out, and Adam runs back home to daddy in Oxford for love and support.
The resultant strain, of trying to cope with a teenage daughter and eight year old twins, as well as write a weekly newspaper column and make fortnightly tv appearances - and desperately trying to find time for herself (oh, the poor dear!), propels Sasha into her own mid-life crisis. She embarks on an ill-considered affair, and discovers the illicit thrills of shoplifting.
Meanwhile, their teenage daughter, Liffy, is feeling increasingly lost and lonely; she is crying out for help but her parents are too absorbed in their own crises to notice.
This book has much to recommend it. The characterisations are good - you really feel you get to know the characters and can empathise with them even when they are at their most obnoxious. Liffy's teenage angst, and particularly the scenes where she interacts with school friends, is sympathetically handled and very readable. Moreover the writing style is engaging and easy to read, and the balance between the different plot elements is well done.
However, I feel the plot line was very thin and that the subject matter (which had quite a lot of promise) was handled in a way that managed to be both trite and stereotyped. I felt the ending was particularly weak - the ends were tied up far too neatly for credibility, and the last couple of pages deteriorated into a kind of "New Age" drivel.
Overall, an undemanding and enjoyable read, but not a great one.
NB: I might also add that I read this book with my book group, and of the five of us I was one of the most positive; one other person rated it 3*, one at 2* and two people only gave it 1*.