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Customer Review

on 23 March 2014
I've never been prompted to write a book review before, but this book made me want to, because I found it so frustrating and manipulative.There's so much press on how good this book is & I can't understand it, it made me so annoyed. The book is full of unfinished ideas, half started plot lines, total changes in writing style (the first chapter descibes events in minute detail, later plot lines are dealt with in such broad strokes, you're left guessing the intent) and unending missed opportunities, where it could have become a good book, it just becomes too frustrating to read. You keep waiting for Addie's backstory to realise itself, her mother died, she doesn't know her family history, along comes Bruno to dig into the past, we start along this course but it peters out without resolution. Is it a love story? We're told they are in love, but there's no depth to their story, which mainly features unending unspoken concern about whether he'll return to America. There's Obama, recession, banking crisis, but then that all fizzles out, never to be referred to again, there's her Dad's court case, accident, hospital inquiry, you think this might become something... Addie's an architect, but not working, at one point she draws swimming pools that Bruno thinks are beautiful, is this the point, she realises more in her life because Bruno comes along? No. Most of these subplots mean you spend the whole book wondering when it's going to become clear what the key themes are, until you get to the last third & realise you've persevered through, for none of these plot lines to come to anything, because she's going to die and as you read on you start to feel completely manipulated, not least because the author kills off both the main character and her dog off within pages of each other. There's really good parts to this, but it's not a cohesive whole, it's unresolved and i resent being manipulated. Would not recommend!
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