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Novel by a poet,
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This review is from: The Moment (Kindle Edition)
When I read the blurb for "The Moment" my heart sank a bit - oh no, not another one. It sounded such an over-worked idea. But I was pleased with how the quality of the writing redeemed an otherwise not very original tale. Of the two protagonists, the female, Fern, is the better drawn. As a character she is fully three-dimensional and engaging, and as a female reader I identified immediately with her. She suffers from empty-nest syndrome, and the fear of having reached that stage in life where one's personal identity seems thin and fragile, the way foreward unclear and the past a series of what-ifs. Her male counterpart, on the other hand, is a less satisfactory character who doesn't seem to have changed one bit in the intervening years. Still preferring lies to truth, he appears as a rather one-dimensional pratt.
The author's style is lovely, possibly because Claire Dyer is also a poet, and this is where her strength lies. You enjoy what you're reading and you want to read on because the lyrical prose is so seductive. Though not a lot happens. It's more a question of introspection, flashbacks and inner dialogue from Fern and Elliott as each tries to decide whether to meet up again at the end of the day and give the past a second go. Fair enough. I imagine many people have toyed with this very idea and wondered what they would do if Fate gave them the chance. But, having tantalised her readers for the entire book, I was disappointed that Dyer didn't have the courage to commit herself to a conclusion, one way or the other.
I've never been drawn to books that offer a choice of endings, leaving it to the reader to decide. I think it's a cop-out on the part of the author, a failure of nerve. The "suspension of disbelief" is broken if we, the readers/audience, are invited to enter the fictional realm and help the writer do her job. I'd rather an ending, however controversial or bland, so I can go away and do battle with it.