Review: Somebody's Crying by Maureen McCarthy.

Monday, March 16, 2009

“When Alice looks up and sees Tom staring at her, everything closes down around them and becomes very still. No one is breathing. No one else is in the room. Tom feels as if he can see right into the soul of Alice Wishart. It lies open before him, like a wide long pane of glittering glass. So beautiful and…ready to break.”

Rating: 1/5.

Publisher: Allen and Unwin.

Summary: Three years have passed since the murder of Alice's mother, but still the killer is unknown. Alice, her cousin Jonty and his friend Tom are drawn together by the mystery, but what is each of them hiding? Will their secrets bind them tighter or tear everything apart?

Review: Somebody’s Crying. It’s the novel that is everywhere at the moment. You can’t walk into any facility that sells books and not see it. That creates a lot of intrigue, it certainly did for me and I found myself disappointed.

The story is centred around the death of Lillian, close friend of Tom’s, the mother of Alice, aunty and good friend of Jonty. And how each react to the death and what happens after. It’s a story filled with a lot (a lot) of angst. Characters that are constantly changing their oh so set opinions and too much description. Lillian is made out to be a wonderful and artistic woman and is wholly admired by the three main characters and I found her bland. The plot is basically a non thing, as I can’t name more then two big events. The blurb had me ready for a good mystery filled with twists and turns. Yet, I sat there reading tentatively, set up my suspicions and none of them were right, sure the mystery was tricky, but it wasn’t great tricky it was: is that all? And left me feeling no satisfaction at all.

When you plunge into the first pages of the novel you’re taken aback by the descriptive and wonderful writing style. You’re interested, you want to know more about the lives of Johnty, Tom and Alice. You want to know who killed Lillian. Soon, the lovely descriptions become strenuous and you find yourself wondering when something will actually happen.

I will not deny that Maureen McCarthy has a freaking fantastic way of writing a novel. Her style is just amazing. Unfortunately that doesn’t bring the novel home.

I had a love hate relationship with the characters. I could get so annoyed at them, especially Alice. She seemed to be glorified by the other characters, but I found her hard to put up with. Same with the deceased Lillian. The characters that were glorified I found hard to put up with due their unattractive personalities. That made it hard for me to like Tom and Jonty due to their intense adoration of Alice and Lillian. On a positive note, they were very realistic characters and McCarthy crafted their realism very well.

The end is sweet and happy. Sometimes when I think back on it, I think that it’s too happy. Other times, I think that after all they’ve been through it’s good closure.

I’m giving this novel, one out of five. I wouldn’t recommend this novel. I expected a lot more.

4 Listener(s):

Lenore said...

Wow. I haven't given a novel a one for years. I better stay away from this.

Just Your Typical Book Blog said...

I haven't heard of this one, and at first I thought it sounded really good until I read your review. I think I might just skip this one!


Bekk said...

I'm reading this novel at them moment. I'm kinda of wishing I never brought it. Its an ok novel but it needs more thrill in it.

I wish I read your review beforehand.
I'm giving the book 1/5 star aswell.
sorry Maureen McCarthy but it just needs something.

xxx Bekky

ed said...


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