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What goes into perfume?
on 11 December 2013
I'm not too sure what this novel is meant to be - it's mainly an eco-thriller but has many other parts which are unnecessary and just don't fit. The main character, Pirio,falls into the sea and apparently survives for longer than most of us would. This astounds the US Navy so they do tests and I'm thinking what on earth this has to do with the story. As it turns out - nothing. Pirio has a friend called Thomasina who is totally superfluous to the story. She is a truly awful character. She is the mother [biologically] of Noah. Oh come on - in a novel with a maritime eco problem as a theme, is this the best name to use, seriously? Both Pirio and Thomasina are extremely rich and I failed to sympathise with either of them. You're the heiress to a perfume fortune and you phone in with a sickie? What, like the rest of us? Ho Ho! When she's got fed up and angry with Thomasina's angst, Prio sets off to deal with bad guys who are doing things they shouldn't in the Arctic. Guess what! They're rich as well! But to balance things out, there's a former lover who calls her "darlin' ". I think this is meant to show that he's Irish.
But it all ends happily. Well, sort of.
For all that, it does read well and like Pirio, I find what she uncovers reprehensible and I was willing her to succeed. For the most part, it's quite well written. I do, however, wonder about lines like "I know you must be hurting and I always want to be there for you." and why is an only child's Christmas morning described as "pathetic"? I have serious issues with the amount of bad language though. I've often thought it a sign of a poor writer. I found the last three words of Chapter 5 deeply objectionable.
Perhaps it needed better editing? Certainly a few relatively small tweaks would have made it a better novel. And a better title would help.
I'm sorry to be so negative about a first novel but I feel it should have been worked on a bit more. Words that I'm sure Ms Elo has used herself to her students?