David Chambers is part of a religious sect – one that is so closed minded that eating with non-followers is anathema, and planning your own life is secondary to helping the others of your church. When he finds himself engaged to a woman he can never love, he decides to head into the wild world and try his luck there.
I confess: I read this novel, and didn’t know how I felt about it. So I just kept putting off my review, and putting it off, and then, damn. I seem to have forgotten most of the points I had thought of about why I liked it, and yet couldn’t give it any less than about 3 stars.
The ending, the ending! Arg! Perhaps the ending is what left me feeling so confused about this novel. I didn’t understand how his loyalties could shift so rapidly. As shallow as it may sound, it was only a woman!
And his friend Rachael? I couldn’t understand how she could settle for it. Perhaps for her (despite seeming to have a questioning mind which to me meant that she would never be happy in such an enclosed environment), having children and a secure life was the most important thing. Which to me, would never be good enough. I need something more in life (but we all know that I think differently to other folks).
The balancing act between the characters and the intertwined plots could have been used to more effect. I found some of the writing clunky and difficult to read, and it did interfere with my enjoyment of the novel (and my ability to read it in a single sitting – I read it over a couple of weeks, interspersed with other novels). For a debut novel though, taking in such a broad and contentious topic, it was fantastic.
I think I’d recommend this novel to read, but only if you can suspend your disbelief that some people can be so damn stupid!