Yesterday was Book Club Day....It was the first meeting of our group for the new year, and as expected there were a couple of new faces....both women.
Our lone male member had that look of resignation on his face that we have come to expect over the years, but to his credit he hangs in there, not allowing the twittering of the group of post menopausal women to daunt his spirit....and he can be ever hopeful!
As is the custom for the first book of the year, it was an easy read....nothing too difficult to frighten away potential members.... and this was a BEST SELLER....(world wide)...written by an AUSTRALIAN author.... was partly set in our home state of QUEENSLAND.... in particular...MARYBOROUGH ...a small provincial town a few hundred kilometres to the south of where we live.
It was THE FORGOTTEN GARDEN...the second novel by KATE MORTON...an up and coming author....and according to all the blurb on the back cover,it would enthrall the reader from the very first page....a compulsive read...a real page turner....an absorbing family saga wonderfully written. One of the best reads this year!
I couldn't wait to get started on the 554 pages, so I popped it into my suitcase for the trip south to Melbourne.....
Oh me oh my....how disappointed was I.
Surely all those wonderful critiques must have been about another novel? No...I had the right book.... I laboured through it as we jumped through time, then back again, losing track of the characters who were so one dimensional that it was difficult to remember them.
As for the story....the so called mystery that would hook you in....it was just so predictable I felt sure everyone would have already guessed the outcome. An unlikely tale, somewhat Mills and Boonish....(yes one of those was required reading as we had a M&B author in our midst for a few years!)
I found the book much too ambitious....in need of serious editing....(so much so that I wondered if the first draft had been published by mistake ). I gave it the thumbs down....and went off to the meeting assured that everyone would be of like mind.
Imagine my surprise when half the group LIKED the book. I was in disbelief! Surely this erudite group, so well read couldn't have LIKED this book? They DID!
So dear readers...I'll have to wear it, but as far as I was concerned THE FORGOTTEN GARDEN should have been forgotten . We can't win them all....can we