I have read quite a lot lately, but found myself with nothing left on my `read' list. My friend offered to lend me a book by an author that I had never heard of. To be honest if I was in a bookshop and saw this I wouldn't do more than glance at it. The front cover is not exactly the most enticing and the jacket gives little away as to the sort of book it is. I decided that I would give it a go anyway and started reading it as soon as I got home that night.
Synopsis: David is an American Investment Banker and he lives in London with his wife Elizabeth and two children. His wife decides that he must retire; leaving the life they have in London and moving to a remote and rural area of America. Elizabeth goes ahead with the children and on the first evening in his London home David is contacted by a very old friend. This is the start of a story of betrayal and lies and delves deep into the relationship between two friends.
Well where do I start? The first chapter is kind of a head scratcher. We are introduced to both Katherine and David along with their children. The first chapter itself is slow because of the way the author describes everything in such detail. I persevered and found that at chapter 4, I wanted to just shut the book and not return to it. However, I was not going to be defeated and convinced myself it was one of those books you needed to really involve yourself in.
The basic story and plot is a good one. It is very difficult to give too many details as it would spoil the book but essentially the basis for the story is okay. The characters I found extremely hard work. I began to realise little over 6 chapters in, that I didn't like the writing style of the author. The reason I didn't like her style of writing is that this particular author examines the minds of the characters in great depth and can continue for half a chapter just explaining what they are thinking. She also writes with a slight poetic and dramatic edge, which if I'm honest isn't something I enjoy. The drama, yes, the poetry, no.
Like I said, I persevered and once I adjusted my mindset to the author's way of thinking I found it easier to read. However, the book actually lacked any sort of substance because; I would go as far as to say that there was too much depth to the characters. Just as you are beginning to understand what they are thinking you forget why you needed know in the first place. The depth never leads to anything; it just seems to add to the poetic edge of writing.
Over halfway in and I enjoyed it a little more that in the beginning as the story progressed and other characters were brought in. However, the story itself revolves around 5 or 6 main characters and I didn't like one of them! They were all written with great feeling, that much was obvious, they just weren't that likeable in my opinion.
I was reading a page and coming to the end of a chapter near the end of the book and when I turned the page I was shocked to realise that I had finished the book. That was it, no real ending as such, no loose ends tied up, and the author just decided enough was enough. I was so frustrated that not only had I had to force myself to read this, that the ending was so abrupt. I felt like the author couldn't be bothered to finish the work she had started. Out of curiosity I looked up this author on Amazon thinking there may be a follow up, but there wasn't. What surprised me even more was that this particular book was rated as 4 out of 5. I was gobsmacked to say the least. I also wondered about the title of the book. Canarino is a lemon drink and the only reference to this drink is that Elizabeth drunk it when she first met David. That about summed up this book, it's like hot lemon water, it may be good for you but not everybody likes it!
I can honestly say I will not be reading any more of her books and felt very disappointed with the book. Maybe I am not educated enough to appreciate this poetic style of writing, but if the truth be known I like it brash, loud and straight to the point!