Mildly absorbing but incomplete, thus unsatisfying..., March 27, 2010 3 stars
After I finished the book I went back to the beginning again just to clarify how it all began. Found a second read of it more interesting. BUT, I hated the ending. It's what I consider a NON ending and thus leaves me as a reader very frustrated. I don't like reading books that make me have to try to guess what happened. If I wanted to write a story, I would. I expect the author to finish her job and to give me some type of ending. Because of the way the book ended, it left a more negative impression with me than I probably would have had if she had just said what happened to the people. Even an epilogue or afterward indicating something of their outcome would have helped. I think that would be my main question to the author -- what happened? Did they all die? I tend to think they did.
I would hesitate to recommend the book to many of my friends because of the lack of closure experienced and I know how they like to know "what happened" when they read books. I did share this book with my two daughters and all of us agreed about that. We said, "The ending sucked."
Something I thought was missing in this book was the rest of the survivor's reactions to the stories they were hearing. Knowing that they all were in dire straits would have made each story all the more important as each person chose exactly what small part of his/her life he or she would share with the group. I also think it would be unusual not to get questions and I also think the person telling the story might want to give answers. Funny how telling a story out loud might lead to self reflection and assessment and perhaps revelations to be experienced and shared.
I might or might not read another book by this author, but I'd wait to see if she did the no ending thing again.
Now, as far as telling private personal stories of this nature to a group of strangers -- well it depends on the circumstances. I suppose if I thought I was going to die it would be nice to reflect and share my "amazing thing" stories but I am not sure if I would, in the end, keep them to myself or not. It is often easier to tell things to total strangers than to friends or relatives. It's the judgment thing. I did not find the stories the captives told all that interesting, frankly.
Borrow, don't buy.