- Paperback: 336 pages
- Publisher: HarperOne; First HarperCollins Paperback Edition edition (1 May 1997)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0060652861
- ISBN-13: 978-0060652869
- Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 1.9 x 20.3 cm
- Average Customer Review: 8 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,837,964 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
A Live Coal in the Sea Paperback – 1 May 1997
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"A complex, modern saga....infused with the warmth of love and mercy."--"Booklist"
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However most of the story takes place in the past, in a series of flashbacks. The story is held together by conversations between Camilla and her granddaughter. It's cleverly written so as to introduce a little of the story at the time, though perhaps a little confusing at first. There are tangential comments about astronomy and number theory, but Camilla’s work mostly takes a back seat to her family life.
The characters are mostly three-dimensional and believable, and I found myself growing particularly fond of Camilla’s in-laws. It wasn’t a difficult read and I finished it in just a couple of days. Overall I thought it a satisfying sequel.
I enjoyed the book, and stayed up too late to finish it, but at the end I felt unsatisfied. The backward looking mode made many of the character's actions seem contrived, and reduced much of the suspense. The story concerned Taxi, Camilla, Mac and Frankie the most, but the revelations that built the plot came through the distress of Raffi, Camilla's granddaughter. Frankly, I can't see myself getting emotionally wrung out over the question of my grandmother's exact genetic relation to me, so I didn't have much sympathy for Raffi. And the final ending seemed silly.
I give this books great credit for most of the small details, but the whole does not hang together.
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