This book was short-listed for the 2015 Stella Awards but, in my opinion, it is not award-level writing. Certainly the theme of families with dark secrets and the impact on children is admirable and compelling but the execution is, at times, woeful. There are too many characters and voices and this weakens an otherwise strong storyline. And the voices, particularly of the children, just didn’t ring true at times. Then there are the clumsy, grating metaphors such as “dark as a tumour”, “innocent as grass” and “midges .... striking Colt’s face like fairies”. Such a shame!
The first two-thirds plus was rather mundane. I didn't really get to feel much for any of the characters; partly as the story didn't focus on anyone in particular and I think the book kind of lacked for that. The ending was well written. but I found some of the earlier chapters could have done with another revision.
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