Thursday, April 27, 2006

Things We Knew Were True by Nicci Gerrard

Author: Nicci Gerrard
ISBN # 0141012471
Publisher: Penguin
First Published: 2003
310 pages

At 16, Edie's world was turned upside-down when her father failed to come home from work one evening. After 20 years, she eventually makes a passionate and dangerous attempt to return to the past - in search of the truth about her father and lost teenage love.

The first half of this book focuses on Edie’s teenage years and seems to creep by at a geriatric pace. It’s rare to come across something so lethargic, yet the pace picks up in the second half (focusing on events 20 years later) and it seems a little too rushed. If there was a message embedded in the story, I’ll freely admit that it eluded me and I failed to pick up anything remotely positive. Edie’s character was a little too-good-to-be-true in the first half and continued to be rather bland, seeming to wander across the pages in a somnambulant haze which suited the slow pace of the novel, but did little to stimulate any enthusiasm in me.

There’s little I can say to recommend this book as I felt that not only was nothing fully resolved, but there seemed little point in anything happening at all. It was singularly lack-lustre and uninteresting, despite the number of life-changing events that occurred throughout. From what little I’ve read in reviews, it’s supposed to be a study in female sexuality, but to tell the truth, I really didn’t see that at all, as the protagonist seemed to focus on just one relationship from the past and then agonise over it years after the event.

I’m afraid it’s not one I’d recommend, but if you were stuck with nothing else to read on a long train journey, you could do worse than to try and entertain yourself with this, but not much.

Rating: 4


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