After a summer break from club it was good to see our Whodunit friends again. Sixteen members attended on this lovely evening with just a wee hint of autumn in the air.
The novel we discussed this month was Amanda Eyre Ward's "Close your eyes". Lauren
Mahdian and her brother, Alex have grown up haunted by the murder of
their mother. Their father was convicted of the crime and has spent
over 20 years in prison. Lauren is convinced of his guilt; Alex of his
innocence. Lauren allows this truth to run her life, most significantly
her relationship with her long-time boyfriend, Gerry. She's refused
his numerous marriage proposals, seeing first-hand what "love" can do.
This book had a curious affect on the members. It didn't 'feel' like a mystery novel yet there was a murder and it had a 'Whodunit' factor. Many said they liked it - most said it was an 'easy read' - more than a few who read it soon after June's meeting reread it to re-familiarize themselves with the plot before the Aug. meeting - yet almost everyone said it was 'forgettable' and didn't live up to the reviews. The novel had unrealized potential. It wasn't good, it wasn't bad, it was kind of just...there... The overall rating out of ten according to the members in attendance was 5.75
It was commented that the character development was lacking - so that the reader really had no sense of empathy with any of the characters. The personality of the father's character seemed contradictory to many. The plot came across as 'choppy', disjointed and at times confusing. It was suggested that so many lives were fractured by the traumatic event that the plot had to be fractured as well... The author introduced new characters without warning making the reader wonder what the connection to previous characters could be. The ending seemed to be contrived with no big reveal.
We discussed what the meaning of the title could be. We surmised that the protagonist chose to 'close her eyes' to the trauma she experienced upon the death of her mother.
September's Whodunit title is: "Deceptions" by Rebecca Frayn
The lucky book giveaway winners this evening were: