JANE & CARIN

In a short blurb? We talk books.

Faithful Place // book review

Was Tana French’s Faithful Place all the first few pages promised me it would be? Yes! … and no.

Faithful Place

It pains me to criticize this book because I love French’s writing. I love the language, the Irish slang… and I absolutely envy her metaphors and similes. She describes things in perfect ways I would never have thought of, that are descriptive without being wordy or weighty, and make a world, a moment, an emotion, lift off the page and come alive. The intrigue of a double murder held me throughout. The plot was fairly well-paced and kept me guessing.

And yet…

Something was missing. I couldn’t shake the feeling that the book was lacking something. And if I had to point to any one thing, it would be character development. Don’t get me wrong… the characters were well-defined, they had dynamic moments when they realized something about themselves or another and changed a bit, grew up. But overall, I didn’t feel much real emotion toward any of them. (Having the book writtenas the first-person account of the hard-ass main character probably has something to do with it.) I didn’t feel particularly attached to the characters (as I did in Art of Fielding), and the story fell just short of engrossing (not quite on the Michael Koryta or Suzanne Collins level of story-telling… but then again, how many authors are?). At the end of the book, I felt a little like I just read a melodrama, complete with internal conflict, villains, and helpless women; fight scenes, love-making, and a great setting… and very little surprises.

Read if: You value good writing over a good story, you love Ireland, or you’re interested in the dynamics and power of space and “home”. In a way, the book was very much a return-home narrative, a finding home narrative, and it hit dead-on that feeling of simultaneously belonging and not belonging in a home left behind. Space molds every bit of this story, which can be awfully fascinating for those interested in this area of lit theory.

Do NOT read if: You’re looking for an action-packed thriller, you’re looking for a book where you can laugh and cry aloud, or you hate Ireland! (If you hate Ireland… shame on you!)

Happy Reading!

Carin

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One comment on “Faithful Place // book review

  1. Pingback: 2012: #15 – Faithful Place (Tana French) | Confessions of a Bibliophile

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This entry was posted on January 20, 2012 by in Book Reviews, Carin, Fiction and tagged , , , , , .

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Words We Like

“I think it makes more sense to write what you don’t know. To write what makes you uneasy, what you wonder about, what keeps you awake at night."

— Lois Lowry, at the BEA Children’s Book and Author Breakfast

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