Most helpful critical review
This one deserves more than one reading
on April 20, 2000
When I first read this book, I had very mixed feelings about it. I was bored, confused, intrigued, saddened and disappointed all at the same time. But I realize now that I really need to give this one another shot. I've spoken with many people who have also read this novel about some of the important components of the story and of its style. I was bored, I think, because I'm used to reading stories that follow a certain pattern. When one doesn't do that, it's a natural reaction to get bored with it. What we have is a suspense novel that doesn't really deal so much with the suspense. Trevor is using the characters and their lives, their relationships, their reactions to their situations to really build the story. I don't agree that the characters are as flat as a cardboard box. Thaddeus is definitely the least empowered of them all, but there are reasons for that. Mrs. Iveson isn't as mean as all that. Look at her reaction when Albert tells her about Pettie towards the end. There's so much there that you can miss if you don't read it closely the first time through. Some say there shouldn't be so much work involved in understanding this book. But, then again, I don't think Trevor wrote this book for people who don't want to use their noodle.