Primary Genre(s): Contemporary Fiction, Women’s Fiction
Published: 11 Jun 2019 by Crooked Lane Books
Page count: 293
My Format: eBook, ARC
Pacing: Painfully slow
Would I recommend it: No
Commission Link: https://amzn.to/2M2yKlE
My rating: ★★☆☆☆
Summary from Goodreads
Masha is drowning. Once a spirited, independent woman with a rebellious streak, her life has been forever changed by a tragic event twelve years ago. Unable to let go of her grief, she finds solace in the silent company of the souls of her local Victorian cemetery and at the town’s lido, where she seeks refuge underwater – safe from the noise and the pain.
But a chance encounter with two extraordinary women – the fabulous and wise Kitty Muriel, a convent girl-turned-magician’s wife-turned-seventy-something-roller-disco-fanatic, and the mysterious Sally Red Shoes, a bag lady with a prodigious voice – opens up a new world of possibilities, and the chance to start living again.
Until the fateful day when the past comes roaring back…
As of today, this book has over 3,500 ratings on Goodreads and it is averaging 4.13 stars. It is rated highly on other sites as well and it has a lot of praise from well-respected sources. So, it appears I am in the minority here, but I don’t think I have ever been more bored or depressed while reading a book. Here are my pros and cons:
- The cover is nice. The cover is what drew me to this book.
- I will give the author credit for creating a very specific atmosphere in the book – it was almost too real. Sadly since the topics are grief and loss, being so “real” made it also difficult to read (for me).
- I will also give the author credit for writing about some very heartbreaking topics with a great deal of humanity.
- I’m not heartless. I understand the story – the sadness and the grief that everyone is experiencing. But the sadness and the grief was just overwhelming and hard to take and honestly, for me it just wasn’t pleasant to read. It was too much. Even when Masha started to deal with her grief and come out of her shell a bit, it was too little too late for me.
- I really struggled to read this novel. I didn’t connect to the characters at all.
- The whole dinner scene at the beginning of the book was so far-fetched and weird for me that I’m afraid it affected how I perceived the remainder of the book.
- I wanted more about Sally. I didn’t get near enough Sally.
- The best part of the book was at the very end and it felt like it was an afterthought! Finally it was going somewhere – something was happening! And boom… end of book. ARGH!!
I understand that this book is supposed to be about finding your joy, and dancing in the rain, and connecting with others in spite of your circumstances or the tragedies you’ve experienced. It is about living in spite of grief and pain. I didn’t, however, get that from the book personally. To me it was just overly sad and depressing. I actually feel really bad about this but I’m sorry to say I couldn’t wait to finish it so I could move on to something else.
Thank you NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for a free electronic ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
If you would like to read this book and form your own opinion, please consider purchasing through this link: https://amzn.to/2M2yKlE. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you. Thanks!