I say: This is a book that’s seemingly been all over the place for some time now, and that has been getting some great reviews, which generally means that I stay clear of it. However, as always in these cases, I saw it at the library and decided to give it a go.
And I did, but wasn’t impressed.
In my opinion, this reads more like a collection of short stories rather than a novel. The reason it’s called a novel is, I suppose, because each new chapter deals with someone that was mentioned in the previous one.
In a way, I felt cheated.
Mainly because I had no interest in some of these characters, and I was sort of lured in to continue to read just so that I would be able to find out what was to happen to the characters I did care about. We visit the characters in different eras, ages and states of fortune, and although I understand why some people would find this type of narrative appealing, hard as I tried, I just couldn’t get into it all.
Having said all that, I have to agree with some of the praise Egan has been getting for her beautiful prose. Regardless of what I think of the plot, the narratives flow together rather seamlessly for the most part, and although I think that some of the characters were approached with a similar ‘voice’, it was well-written enough for me to keep reading.
Except for the interview/article about Kitty Jackson that read so pretentiously that I merely skimmed through it.
So yeah, 3/5 because of the prose – otherwise I would have given this a 2/5.