Friday, 10 January 2014

The Sum of Our Parts

This novel is written by H.J. Geralds, who happens to be a dear friend of mine, and wanted me to proofread her work. Reviewing isn’t easy if you know the writer is reading your opinion – it’s like telling a mother her baby’s nose is slightly crooked.

Nonetheless I felt like I did not have to comment on any large flaws at all. The characters feel real, the conversations flow like they should, tension is built steadily throughout the story.

Compared to her first novel, which was a children’s book, well… this book actually has nothing in common with it. Her first book could have been written by Roald Dahl; this book is definitely more adult, and wouldn’t feel wrong in the crime/detective section. I value such diversity – she won’t be typecasted anytime soon!

Nonetheless, Geralds has a sort of trademark, and that is her knowledge of Awesome Words and metaphors, like his eyebrows collided,  juggling words auditioning for utterance and … ‘his stomach seemed to have turned into a washing machine, where new sensations were tumbling over each other like items of clothing, heavy with water and distress...’ Furthermore she’ll expand your dictionary with words like pizzicatoed, subjunctively and phantasmagorias; words that taste like wine in your mouth.

Oh yeah, and you would probably like to know what the story is about…

The book tells the story of Blaine Cavanaugh, as he deals with his brother’s death. The two brothers had nothing in common, making it somehow that much worse to deal with his passing.
As the book goes on, Blaine tries to see the world through his brother’s eyes, meeting friends and teachers, and is utterly confused by it all. The question remains: was it suicide, or did someone kill him?

I have no idea how much I would rate this novel, but I would definitely rate it higher than a seven out of ten. Minus points for not mentioning time and place often enough (to my taste – other people might not need to be reminded so often).

I’ll definitely be looking forward to read more of her work.

Until next time,

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