Top critical review
One person found this helpful
on 23 January 2013
I have read some of Aminatta Forna's work before, and enjoyed it.
This however is in a different camp. It's slow to get going, a hard read for at least 10 chapters. Eventually the flow gets going and there is some excellently researched detail in the novel, but the narrative seems contrived, forced, to portray the story of Sierra Leone (or Freetown at least) in a different light. The plot achieves neither the slow burn of a story unravelling nor the punch of an unexpected ending.
Too many coincidences to be plausible, a jarring and inconsistent finish out of context with the overall novel: these don't detract from the quality of the individual words, but alas the sum is not greater than its parts. Once it got going I enjoyed this book, but not so much I would want to read it again. Next!