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Not as good as Clausen's Pier
on 10 June 2014
Liz and Sarabeth have been friends since childhood. Liz’s easy-going, laid back family is the perfect antidote to Sarabath’s painful and awkward home life; her parents are withdrawn, her mother suffers from depression and Sarahbeth often feels motherless. Now into adulthood they are still the best of friends; Liz is married to Brody and has two children, Lauren and Joe, but Sarahbeth stumbles from one love affair to the next, confiding in Liz, needing her comfort and support.
Suddenly, without warning, Liz’s family is thrown into turmoil. The once strong friendship is put under tremendous pressure – will it survive? Will it ever be as it was before?
Essentially a story of friendship, and whether or not it can survive catastrophic events, this is very much a character driven novel. I enjoyed Anne Packer’s first novel “The Dive From Clausen’s Pier” so much that I bought this book with high expectations, but I actually feel a little let down by it. The writing style is strange at times with really odd sentence structure that often left me feeling quite confused. I found the characters of Liz and Sarabeth irritating and I wanted to shake them both out of their apathy. Lauren’s teenage angst and confusion, though, is spot on, whilst her younger brother Joe seems superfluous as he hardly figures in the narrative. This is a slow, somewhat depressing, read and I very nearly gave up, however my own obstinacy forced me to the end, which was more a fizzle than a bang.
I would suggest that if you are new to Ann Packer read “The Dive From Clausen’s Pier” and give this a miss.