Have you ever read a book that starts weird, gets really good for a few pages and then somehow ends and you’re not sure what even happened? Meet that book:
I was really excited to read this book. When I picked it up at a used book store and read the back cover I was immediately drawn in. The fact that it was a national bestseller and award finalist upped my excitement level that much more. Once you read the description you’ll see why this book sparked my interest:
“Set in a Maltese immigrant community in Cardiff, Wales, and peopled with sharp-edged, luminously drawn characters, The Hiding Place is the story of Frankie Gauci, his wife, Mary, and their six daughters. With her “unusual gift for letting her characters’ interior lives come forth” (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution), Azzopardi chronicles Frankie’s unforgivable betrayal: gambling away his family’s livelihood and eventually the family itself. The Gaucis’ story is seen through the eyes of Dolores, the youngest daughter and the embodiment of bad luck in her father’s estimation, condemned to bear the mark of a family that is rapidly singeing at the edges. Dolores presents an unsparing portrayal of the fear and hopelessness of childhood amid grim poverty and neglect, of children growing up without safety nets and on sunken foundations. Sustained by a tightrope tension and a stark, youthful wisdom, The Hiding Place conjures the coarse sensuality of life among the docks, the smoky cafes and bars, the crumbling homes and gambling rooms of Tiger Bay. “Astonishing and iridescent” (The Times, London).
Sounds good right? I really love novels about family drama so I figured I would love this. The book started pretty slow and with six different sisters, a mom, dad and all the dad’s gangster friends I pretty much had no idea who was who the entire book. Pair that with the fact that it was told from the point of view of super young (think 4 or 5) daughter it was hard to understand what was going on. When I finally did get a grip on the story it started to get really good-for a few chapters.
I can honestly say I don’t know what this book was about and I don’t really know what happened. When I finished it, I couldn’t summarize in my head the story or point of it all. What I do remember is constantly having to flip back pages and reread to see if I could remotely figure out what was going on. This book took be 2 weeks to finish-which for me, is a long time. It was a super slow read and when I finally finished it I just felt so…unsatisfied.
I went onto Amazon to read the reviews and it seemed that readers either LOVED the book or didn’t understand a word of it. I can see how people would love the story though-it’s well written and you can tell someone extremely talented and intelligent wrote it, but I honestly think I can’t even review the book because I feel like I didn’t even read it…
Another bummer of a book!
That’s all the nonsense I have for now!
What are you currently reading??