11/03/2007

Remembered Dreams (by Emma Dally)

This is a circular style historical novel by Emma Dally, beginning in 1990 then back-tracking to 1920, looking at the grandparents and parents of Josie, the woman introduced at the start of the book.

I usually quite like this style of book, and sure enough it was readable and reasonably interesting, at least to start with. There were a variety of characters, with the main ones being readily distinguishable, and it felt as if the settings were believable.

Unfortunately, there was far too much detail, much of it irrelevant (in my view). Rather than having intertwined sub-plots, it read like a family history with isolated incidents - and even the significant ones were just recounted in a few pages without any build-up or emotion. It's good for an author to know the entire history of her characters, of course - but somehow the book felt as if it was the author's outline, telling us everything remotely related to the characters, but without any gathering together to turn it into a story.

one of the characters were particularly sympathetic, and I didn't feel any emotion while reading this book. Still, the style was easy to read and I kept going to the end, albeit skimming a little in places. At the end was supposed to be a dramatic revelation, but even that was disappointing as there were no twists - the secret, held for decades, had become obvious during the course of the book.

Not really recommended.

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