This novel has the distinction of being the only book I have been unable to finish for quite some years. I didn’t even get past chapter three, it’s that bad. I’m not a great fan of “chick lit” nor of the sub genres that are meant to be aimed at women. I was attracted to buy this book by it’s enigmatic cover (of a dead crow surrounded by leaves) and by the brief reviews on the back cover. Sadly, I forgot that one should not judge a book by it’s cover! What I found was a dire, dirge like list of grievances. To begin with the first chapter goes on at great length about rain falling on some ordinary English suburb. So, it’s raining. So what else is new? But that chapter goes on and on, detailing the depressing effect of the rain on the streets. For heaven’s sake, this is England! It is always raining!
I am a feminist: let’s get that out of the way straight away. And yes, there is a place for novels about a woman’s place in the world and the difficulties she faces. But this was just lousy with moaning and complaining! Middle class women, driving their children in “Chelsea tractors”, having coffee, moaning to themselves about how their horrible husbands have trapped them. They are obsessed with housework, with making a good impression on the neighbours, about who their neighbours are even. I just could not read on, it was just boring and depressing. I found myself quickly losing interest in even the first character who walks on-stage before her chapter was finished. That is not a good sign; if the reader finds the first characters boring. So, I consigned it to the bin, to be off-loaded on Oxfam, poor souls. Maybe someone else will love this book; someone should even if it is only the author.