35 of 40 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Time's Legacy (Paperback)
I have thoroughly enjoyed the other Barbara Erskine novels (indeed, I think I've read everything she's written) and was very much looking forward to her latest. Now, this may be unfair, given that I read Time's Legacy right after finishing Pillars of the Earth and World Without End by Ken Follett - an almost impossible act to follow. Nonetheless, I can't help feeling this novel would have been a disappointment in any event.
I agree with another negative review on Amazon, where the reviewer comments that Erskine seems to be simply retelling the same story time after time, with new names for her characters. I would add that the characters in this book are also extremely one-dimensional. The central protagonist, Abi, simply doesn't ring true as a vicar on any level and it was hard to empathise with her at all. Most importantly, the portrayal of Jesus himself, surely an opportunity to create a truly memorable character, is a dismal failure. Throughout the novel, I couldn't help thinking this was a very good idea for a book, simply thrown away by rather lazy, sloppy writing. This is especially evident in the dialogue, which is almost unbearably wooden and stilted (whether this is the result of poor writing or poor editing, or a combination of the two, is hard to say).
I have not entirely lost faith in Erksine, but my advice to her would be to try something different next time and to be aware that reader loyalty has to be earned afresh with each novel.