6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Days of Grace (Paperback)
I love wartime stories set in england and the review on the back of the book told me that this would be that and a bit of sarah waters thrown in. I think the writer is great and she certainly created a page turner and will go on to write many books. But I found the book dragged me down. It was a sad story about sad people with no light at the end of the tunnel. But the main issue i had, was that i did not like the main character Nora. The writer says that she and her agent set out to make Nora more sympathetic than in the original draft, but i am not sure it went far enough. I found myself getting impatient with Noras maudlin outlook, her jealousy not just for Grace but later Rose and then that last scene with Graces lover which I felt was bizarre. She was wracked with guilt for her feelings for Grace but was she guilty about what she did to Graces boyfriend. That wasnt so clear to me. We saw throughout the novel that Nora was very complex and quite a dark character and there were indications that she could go over the edge but to go that far over the edge was quite unexpected. I thought the character of Grace was not that well developed. She seemed like a light hearted good time girl who wanted to get away from her sad home life, but I didnt feel there was much depth to her. The parents were also given short shrift I felt. Finally, as Nora made friends with prostitutes on the streets of london, one could have imagined that she could have found her way through those friendships to a gay scene in the city. But that was not explored by the book and must not have entered Noras head either. There is not much said at all about the 50 years after the war up to the time that Grace dies, except that she lived a quiet life running a book shop.
Are we too spoiled by fiction that we expect to have to like the hero in a book. In a way, you could say that the author was brave to stick to her guns with the Noras unappealing ways. But I have to confess that Noras ways put me off the book and I was glad to finish it.
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Initial post: 8 Mar 2016 10:27:47 GMT
Last edited by the author on 8 Mar 2016 10:28:08 GMT
That's an hones and thorough way of putting it. the critiques are fair in my opinion, at least some of the ones I agree with. Nora's dark side and violent tendencies brimming under the surface made me feel nervous and uneasy too. unlikable in old age too, it had no real hope all the way through, predictable endings albeit it was a page turner because it made you wonder in what way the story would unfold next. Grace was depicted as quite a bland character, and Nora's possessiveness went too far when she jeopardised Grace's happiness and ultimately her own. i did like how every stone was left unturned and the facts were explained thoroughly unlike other books that leave you with hovering questions at the end of the book.
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