This is true – ish.
The story is written from 5 year old Pea’s point of view. She recalls, in the first person, her summer living in France. Mum is pregnant. Dad died in an accident a few months ago. She talks to her sister, Margot and adult friend Claude and his dog.
Now, I’ve never been a 5 year old girl and I’m not sure that this has helped my understand of what it would be like, even if I had wanted this.
Did I enjoy the book?
Not much. Until you get within 3 chapters of the end, nothing happens. Even when it does, I didn’t feel it was worth the wait. The run-up, about 180 pages is like eating candy floss. There’s something slightly sickly there but nothing of any substance. I didn’t even feel a great deal of curiosity about the ending.
By writing as a 5 year old, the author cleverly hides stuff and we only, gradually work out what is happening. There’s a bit of a twist but it annoyed rather than shocked me.
So, not a good book then? Not according to me.
But, I am largely alone in my opinion. Checking out Amazon, I find it deep in 5 star reviews:
“I would be proud to have written this book, and feel much richer for having read it.”
“Beautiful and emotive story”
“Brilliant, just brilliant……”
So am I an uncaring idiot?
Quite possibly, but I suspect it’s just not my kind of thing. Everyone is different and so we all like different books. I might not have liked this one but lots of people really did and that can only be a good thing.
This is what I tell myself anyway as I look at our book with a view to trimming down part of the final scene.
Apparently it goes on a little too long and the reader got a bit confused reading it.
No problem I think, maybe we love it so much we’ve been a little indulgent. Perhaps a little fat trimmed away will improve the read even more.
But when I start, I have a problem. I love the scene. I love every bit of it. Trim anything significant away and you have to ditch the entire scene. That then screws up the story around it and (IMHO) doesn’t provide closure on one of the story strands. Take it out and we end with a whimper, not a bang. And everyone loves to end with a big bang don’t they?
So, I’m going to gamble that if I can’t love a book that so many other can, then the reverse is true about part of our book. After all, we all like different things don’t we?