Sunday, March 09, 2014
If You Find Me, by Emily Murdoch
As you can imagine, it's a heartwrenching story with plenty of opportunity to shock the reader. I'd be cold-hearted (and lying) to claim that it didn't move me. However, a few days later as I write this review, the impact of the reading has faded surprisingly quickly. The culprit in my mind is the roughness of the writing (a narrative that is paced irregularly - skipping forward and sometimes unnecessarily repeating). The characters also are thinly drawn (with the adults either entirely evil or unbelievably virtuous and self-sacrificing). Some attempt to draw out the mother and father (and even the step mother) a bit more would have made the situation more interesting. As is, only the children have any sort of depth. I get that Murdoch wants to keep the focus on the kids and they certainly have an interesting story to tell, but in the vacuum of capricious and mysterious adults, they are merely pawns for events that the reader wants to understand better.
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