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Give it a Chance for its Cottage Country Vignettes
on September 24, 2014
Yes, this book requires the reader to concentrate but at the end of the day, I enjoyed the read. I've just finished Summer Gone, mostly reading it in the wee hours of the morning (thanks to jet lag) when the house was still and I was able to focus my attention as the book demands. Mcfarlane's cottage country descriptions are the highlight. Anybody who has spent time "up north" will immediately relate. I will say make the following criticisms though:
1) Total lack of character development despite some plot lines spanning many years
2) Hard to like many of the characters. Bay, the main protagonist, isn't a guy I'd gravitate towards in real life
3) The fascination with smoking doesn't fit, despite the era. That the Reverend Tobias is a chain smoking, nature loving camp director makes no sense at all.
4) Way too much focus on death. There are other impactful events in people's lives. No need to "go all the way" so much.
5) The character Rig serves no purpose in the story, although I enjoyed that section of the book.
6) The reason (trying to avoid being the spoiler here) for Bay's divorce isn't developed well at all.
I finished this book in about three days so it wasn't awful but I guess I prefer my characters to be likeable. You aren't going to find them here.