Saturday, April 26, 2014
Picture Me Gone, by Meg Rosoff
The result is a gentle adventure (where the most danger they encounter is a little snow and some dodgy restaurants). As is true in most literary road trips, the story is about self-discovery as much as finding they quarry. Spending the time with her father and learning more about his missing friend helps Mila understand her Dad better and also reveals things about herself.
The novel has potential, but never really delivers in the end. The story is muddled. While the blurb promises adventure, the plot is weighed down in ruminations and meditations. The search itself - in many ways - is unsuccessful, even though some of its goals are achieved (being more specific would spoil what little suspense the book offers). And once one reaches the end of the book, we are left (much like Mila herself) wondering why we started out in the first place.
Rosoff is fond of mood pieces. For her, the plot tends to seem like an annoyance that gets in the way of the emotion. But the mood here -- a bit of lost hope and failed opportunity - is so melancholy and beige that it doesn't capture the heart. It is all very pretty, but fails to engage.