Saturday, 22 July 2017

The Woman Who Left

Author: Josephine Cox
Genre: Light Historical Fiction/Women's Fiction
Type: Mass Market Paperback
Pages: 423
Source: Personal Copy
Publisher: Headline Book Publishing
First Published: 2001
First Line: "The old man's voice carried on the summer breeze."

Book Description from GoodReadsLouise and Ben Hunter's loving marriage is marred only by their unfulfilled longing for a child. Living and working with Ben's father, Ronnie, they are quietly contented. But when Ronnie dies, their whole world changes. Ben's lazy brother, Jacob, returns, convinced he stands to inherit Ronnie's small fortune. And he means to have his brother's wife; though just as she did years before, Louise warns him off. Jacob, however, is not so easily dismissed. When he realizes Ben will inherit everything, Jacob is beside himself with rage, and commits a terrible deed, one that threatens to destroy everything his brother and Louise hold dear.

My Rating: 2 stars

My Review: When I was in my 20's I enjoyed lighter reads and Josephine Cox was one of my go-to light fiction authors. You know the kind of read - nothing too heavy, with fairly predictable characters and a plot that I could easily jump in and out of between my interpreting gigs.  

I've had this book on my shelves for many years and finally got around to reading it in my feeble attempt to 'read what I own'. While I admit that the Light Historical Fiction genre is no longer my 'cuppa tea', The Woman Who Left still falls considerably short for me in terms of plot and character development. There's light fiction and then there's weak fiction and this book, unfortunately, falls into the latter category.

While I appreciated how tertiary characters introduced certain scenes and gave the 
book a small town feel, the characters were cliched, one-dimensional and behaved exactly as you'd expect. When you add in the plot that didn't have a lot of meat to it and the overabundance of banal dialogue sprinkled throughout, it's not surprising that I wasn't a fan of this book.

Preferences change over time and I can't say that I continue to be a big reader of the Light Historical Fiction genre. That said, this book was weak in too many ways making my lack of enthusiasm for the book more than just a genre issue.  

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