This review is from: San Miguel (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The basis of `San Miguel' as a story is sound with connotations of Shakespeare's `The Tempest', the writing style is eloquent, and I am aware the novel has received good reviews. However for me I found it a dreary and somewhat depressing book that went on too long - and I was pleased to get to the end. It covers a period from the 1880s to the 1940s and the story is told laboriously through the lives of 3 women staying on the isolated and inhospitable island of San Miguel off the coast of California. Great sympathy is evoked by author T C Boyle for the women who all have to contend with overpowering and controlling men in addition to their tedium existence in a closed world. They are all trapped in different ways and they exhibit different reactions to seclusion. Even though the third woman flourishes there is yet more humdrum lifestyle and effects. Narrative is skilfully persona driven but perhaps for a small island cut off from civilisation T C Boyle introduces too many characters and he attempts to conger up too many crises - and yet these seem to flit around or just evaporate without any sense of tension. `San Miguel' lacks lustre and is only average - hence 3-star rating.