(no pompom content here for a change!)
My bookgroup 's choice of title this month was Something to Hide, by "bestselling author of the The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Deborah Moggach". (I wonder how she feels about living with that moniker?) In my usual style, I'd totally forgotten about it since I bought and downloaded it to my Kindle at the end of the last meeting and with a Tuesday deadline I thought it was about time I got reading. I had bumped into a couple of friends last week and asked how they'd enjoyed it, hoping they wouldn't say it was a tough read, bearing in mind I'd not left myself very long. "All over the place" was their summing up...and not wishing to pre-empt any discussion before the meeting, I left it at that.
Well, I can't be the only one to begin a new book and immediately guess where the story is going, can I? The first four, short scene-setting chapters establish the story in Africa, London, China and Texas and the four characters described are soon found to have links with one another, not that they know that yet. So I read on, anticipating the pieces to fall into place as I turned the pages and feeling ultimately disappointed when only the simplest, most obvious link is fully developed. The other more interesting loose ends remain unexplored or dismissed in a throwaway page or two. I suppose the upside was that it was an easy, page turner of a read. But sometimes, we need more than that, don't we?
I wonder what the others will think? I wonder why the other themes were left wanting? Was it an editorial decision? The number of pages? How frustrating must it be for an author to set up a scenario with so much potential and let it go like that? One thing is sure, we'll have plenty to talk about!