25 Mar 2014

THE BOY THAT NEVER WAS.

THE BOY THAT NEVER WAS by KAREN PERRY.

SOURCE: A GoodReads win. An uncorrected Proof copy, whilst Amazon details are available by clicking on the book title I have been asked not to quote directly from the book which is available in hardback from March 27th  and in paperback from August 28th 2014.

MY THOUGHTS: A piece of collaborative fiction, Karen Perry is the pen-name used by Dublin based authors Karen Gillece and Paul Perry. I'm not sure how writing this worked, whether one wrote the story from the point of view of Harry, the other from the point of view of Robin (yes, this is a novel written from the point of view of more than one character) but work it did.

The story of what happens when three year old Dillon disappears/dies and his parents (Harry and Robin) make the decision to return to their native Ireland where, five years on, Harry becomes obsessed he has seen his son.

Though I thought  this a novel with a rather weak story line that relied heavily on coincidences, what The Boy That Never Was lacked in plot it more than made up for in admirable character development.

Not that I liked the characters because I didn't. Struggling to feel anything other than the slightest empathy for Harry whose actions I found mostly reprehensible and finding Robin a bit of a wet blanket I suppose its a sign of good writing that feeling as I did about them I nevertheless became totally caught up in how their grief shaped their lives informing their decisions in what turned out to be a compelling read.



Copyright: Tracy Terry @ Pen and Paper. All original content on http://pettywitter.blogspot.co.uk/ is created by the website owner, including but not limited to text, design, code, images, photographs and videos are considered to be the Intellectual Property of the website owner, whether copyrighted or not, and are protected by DMCA Protection Services using the Digital Millennium Copyright Act Title 17 Chapter 512 (c)(3). Reproduction or re-publication of this content is prohibited without permission. In addition I would also urge that if you are reading this on any other page you contact the original blog owner/reviewer.

10 comments:

Brandi Kosiner said...

Sad to hear you didn't have the best emotional connection and the story seemed to rely too much on coincidence.

Literary Feline said...

It says something that the book still managed to hold your attention so well despite the weak plot and your dislike for the characters. I am curious about this one, but still not sure. I will have to look it up. Another great review, Tracy.

Shooting Stars Mag said...

this does seem interesting. sometimes unlikeable characters can still be very captivating.

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

I'm glad the characters saved the book for you. I do enjoy good character writing!

Alexia561 said...

Interesting that the book still held your attention even though you didn't care for the characters. I have a hard time with a story if I don't care for any of the characters, but just finished a book just like that! Another great review!

Bo said...

I'm not sure I would even give the book a chance. I am finding increasingly that there is just so much tragedy and sorrow in this world. When I read a book, I prefer to have a happy ending, even if it is formulaic and predictable.
But it does speak volumes that the book held your attention.
For me, I'll have to give this one a pass.

Stephanie@Fairday's Blog said...

This sounds like a good read, especially because you didn't enjoy the individual characters- but did like reading their story and seeing their development. Thanks for sharing. :)

Brian Joseph said...

I actually like some not so likable characters. However, if Harry has no redeemable aspects to him that also sounds like a little too simplistic.


The plot sounds like it has the potential for lots of emotional impact.

Gina R said...

Curious. I'm not certain if the characters themselves could carry the story for me without buy in to the actual goings on, but you make a good case for it. Thanks for the share!

Kelly said...

I'm not really sure what to think of this one. The plot does sound interesting and I do love good character development, but I have a hard time with characters I just can't like.