Secrets and lies..., April 18, 2010
This review is from: The Hand That First Held Mine (Hardcover)I read all the 5 star reviews of this book and wondered, "What book were these people reading?" because it sure was not the same one that I struggled through over a week or two. Typically I read a book in a single evening, but this one seemed to drag on and on. I couldn't get into it.
First of all, I don't typically care for books that go back and forth in time with different sets of characters. We know they are related somehow and can usually figure out pretty quickly what the connection is though the author doesn't let us in on the secret until the last chapter.
I have read several of Maggie O'Farrell's other books and she does the same thing in each one. The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox irritated me for the same reason this one does -- it's not a straight forward read. On the other hand, I did really like After You'd Gone.
That said, this novel is interesting enough. The women are the heart of this story; Lexie is a far more interesting character and more developed in the novel than is Elina. The men are not as complexly drawn and are less intriguing. The book is about secrets and lies and the connection between the two couples.
I would, however, recommend that if you want to read it, you borrow rather than buy.