The Island by Victoria Hislop

islandI finished this book at the weekend.  Somehow it passed me by a couple of years ago, when it was much-hyped, and even won an award I believe.

I enjoyed the subject matter, and loved the way that the author really painted a picture of Greek island life in the first half of the twentieth century – her descriptive writing was really evocative and enjoyable. 

I found that during the first half of the book, I really failed to engage with any of the characters – I didn’t find them particularly believable, and wanted to know more about them as people.  However, that changed completely during the second half, so perhaps it was just a bit of a slow burner for me.

The other thing that I noticed was some really lazy writing in terms of plotlines (unfortunately I failed to make a note of the two specific examples that annoyed me, and I now can’t remember them!).  But it felt like the author knew where she wanted to go with the plot, but couldn’t figure out how to get there from where she was currently, so hurriedly invented some major event to get there, but wrote it almost as a throwaway paragraph, leaving the reader feeling ‘oh, what happened there?!’.   This, for me, really took away from the book as a whole.

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