Saturday, 14 May 2016

Book Review: When We Were Alive by C.J. Fisher

Why I read this: I requested and received this from Netgalley. I like contemporary fiction and the synopsis appealed to me. It was published on March 1, 2016 so I was a little behind in reading and reviewing. 

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

In a Nutshell: Families, relationships, not an uplifting book

Would suit fans of: Julian Barnes

Rating: 3 stars

Find more about this book on Goodreads here

Final thoughts? Colour me confused.
To begin, this book is letters from Myles in 2011 to his mother he has never met. It is not a spoiler to tell you that he was adopted and his adoptive parents were honest with him very quickly that he was adopted. Then we jump back to 1936 and follow the story of Bobby and Rose, with Myles' letters making an appearance as we flip back and forth between the two timelines.
Unexpectedly at about 40% we are introduced to 1972 and William and Dawn.

As we get close to the end of the book the connection between these characters starts to become apparent, but I found myself trying to remember who-was-who and when ; and with an ebook it is not as easy just to flip back and remind yourself. In hindsight, I wish I had been prepared for all the characters and timelines and kept notes on them. Because by the end I found myself stumped as to what had happened and shaking my head. I will have to find a review with spoilers in it to answer some of my questions I think!!

Still, I thought the writing was well done and the author has a large vocabulary so the kindle dictionary function came in handy ;). I would probably try more of Fisher's work in the future, but perhaps next time I will read a few more reviews before I start to ensure that I have a better idea of what I am in for.

Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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