I feel like I've been writing about a lot of negative things lately. I don't mean to be a Debby Downer. Not in the least. I've just read some not-so-hot books lately.
I just finished What Was Lost by Catherine O'Flynn last weekend. I really have been on an Irish crime drama kick lately and this one sounded like it fit the bill. It was about a girl who disappeared and focuses on the main suspects sister. The plot wasn't awful but it was disjointed (to say the least) and just didn't give me what I wanted. Funny, because it reminded me a bit of a book I read last winter called There's No Place Like Here. This book was written by the woman who wrote P.S. I Love You - she's also an Irish writer - and was said to be pretty decent. Yeah, no.
Both books had great characters, great story lines, and authors who were interesting. Both left enough to the imagination on the book jacket that they made me actually want to burrow in and read them. Both left enough to the imagination after I was done reading that I was severely disappointed.
It's never a good thing when you finish a book and think "I need 100 more pages to actually understand what the heck is going on with ANY of these characters." Authors should leave you thinking "I want 100 more pages because I love these characters" not "... because I don't know these people at all!"
Both books looked at things that were lost and where to find them. Maybe that's my problem. Books, like life, can't give you all the answers. They can't always fulfill you with their characters, just as people can't always fulfill your needs no matter how much you want them to. Sometimes characters simply don't develop the way the author thought they would - maybe they just aren't as alive as they should be or their story line stopped flat so the book just had to end earlier than the reader wants. That's the same as any real relationship though. People sometimes just fall flat. And really, I've learned in my life that it's worse to keep dragging the narrative out when it has reached its natural end than to just let it go away. It's not always easy to do this but it's (usually) better in the end.
Instead of complaining about these authors, maybe I should applaud them. They knew when enough was enough - or did they? I guess I don't really know. But considering that I would probably read another book by either author, and I actually would recommend both books if you're looking for a mindless read, I guess it doesn't matter either way.