I am really hoping that the best thing about this story is not the title. I have to say I have only read the first chapter, but all through that first chapter I kept asking myself “Do I really want to keep reading this?”
Why was I thinking this? Mainly because this story does one thing I do not like in the books I read: it introduces a whole town’s worth of characters and all the twisted ways they may or may not be linked together. Most books take a while to do this, but I think this book did it all in the first chapter. At least I hope they did it all in the first chapter, because if the next one or two chapters do this, it will be the second book in my lifetime that I could not finish. It reminds me of reading “The Casual Vacancy” by J.K. Rowling. The only book I read from front to back and had no idea what I had just read when I finished it. (Honestly, I would sell that book at a yard sale or donate it to my local library but I would not want to be responsible for someone else reading that book).
So in chapter one, we meet Edwin, over-worker to avoid his wife, Eleanor. Drew, their son that died, and Chelsea, their daughter that lived. Betty, who is Edwin’s secretary. Derek Wood, the owner of the newspaper that Edwin works for. Wood’s personal assistant, so-far unnamed. Palmer, advertising employee for the paper. Mark, Edwin’s brother-in-law. Caroline Flack, Edwin’s just obtained divorce attorney. Jeremy Kyle, news reporter and likely Eleanor’s new boyfriend.
Now, they did not give a huge backstory for all of the characters I just mentioned (just most), but they were all mentioned; in the first chapter. 16 pages.
Now the first sentence of chapter two, and when I stopped reading this morning? “When his first son was born, Yosef Gershwin had paced back and forth frantically.” (page 17).
Having a sneaking suspicion I was about to learn all about Yosef, his son, and his extended family, I had to stop reading. I will pick it back up; but if too many more characters get added to this story, it is going back on the bookshelf, gathering dust, never to be looked at again.
The meaning of this story? Edwin is online, looking for someone to take care of a problem he has. Yep; that problem.