I’m not sure what I think of this book.
I loved it as a straight story – I’m a fantasy reader so I’m perfectly happy to accept Tara’s story as true. The realistic response from the family worked really well.
Then the author threw in, at the beginning and end, the idea of a mystery, unreliable narrator. I can’t decide if that killed the book for me or not.
I detest unreliable narrators with a passion. I’m a straight forward person myself with a tendency to take things at face-value (I don’t know if that’s a strength or a failing) so having the rug pulled out from under me feels like a betrayal.
Those two paragraphs leave me with a part feeling that maybe I’m being played with. And that seriously weakens (maybe destroys) my pleasure in the book.
As I said above, I’m a fantasy reader, so I was perfectly happy with the story being real in regards to the accuracy of Tara’s recollection of how the time was. (Highlight for spoiler.) She talked to Mrs Larwood and saw a future and pain she couldn’t face and went back to save her loved ones. After all, Ritchie was saved and her family at least partially healed, especially the rift between Peter and Ritchie.
So why undermine the whole basis of a good, solid and enjoyable story with those two short paragraphs?
I guess there are people who like that. I detest it. Maybe that makes me an unsophisticated reader, tainted by my genre reading, but it’s who I am.
I read this really fast, just wanting to read the next bit and find out what happened. Then I got to the end and wanted to growl.
It was heading for a high score and now I don’t know what to think.
Question for the author (who I’m sure will never see it): Were those two “who is the narrator?” paragraphs a linchpin of the story, there from the beginning or a small thing tossed out to see where it fell (or something else altogether)? I didn’t notice the first one and was knocked over by the second. And for me, personally, not in a good way. Was there specific authorial intent for this and are you willing to share what it was?
I may have to go and buy a paper copy of this, just so I can cross out those two paragraphs.
And I still don’t know how to rate it. I’ve gone with 7/10, because that’s my rating for something that’s in the middle. Since I loved the book and hated part of it, I’m averaging it out.