28/11/2014

Almost Perfect (by Delia Franklin)

Almost Perfect is the debut novel for Delia Franklin, a writer who is active in social networking but does not, as far as I can tell, have a site of her own. It was the delightfully quirky front cover which made me notice it on the Bookbag shelves and request it a couple of weeks ago.

'Almost Perfect' starts well. Gloria is happily surveying her vegetable patch. A tractor approaches and as her employer Will climbs down, his mobile phone alerts him to his granddaughter Lucy being in a serious state in hospital.

The scene is set, with a little info about Will's life and his daughter Holly. It appears to be a light-hearted book as Will sets off for the station in his tractor, still wearing his muddy wellies.

However, the next five chapters are rather long-winded and rambling flashbacks which didn't tell me much more than I had learned in the first chapter. Moreover, the viewpoint switches far too rapidly. Eventually we're back to Lucy but somehow there is no emotional connection.

I kept feeling that there was a lot of potential; unfortunately, although some of the minor characters are typecast and quite likeable, I could not relate to any of the main ones at all. This book is a good idea, a workable plot, a nice mixture of people. However it should have had significant rewriting to bring the characters to life, to organise the structure more logically, and to cut out the unnecessary parts.

I wanted to like this, I really did. It’s gentle women’s fiction (albeit with a couple of dramatic and unpleasant scenes) and the kind of story I usually enjoy. But sadly, it has almost no emotional impact.

Available in Kindle form as well as paperback.

You can read my longer review of Almost Perfect at the Bookbag site

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