Thursday, April 27, 2006

The Night Watch

I forgot to mention a few weeks ago that I finished reading The Night Watch by Sarah Waters. Despite the very different era and story format, it still has the feel of a Waters novel but I found it to be a bit lacking. The story starts in 1947 and works backward - it starts off with characters in a dark place and they're given to you without any backstory -- you find out about why they are doing what they are doing, how they got to be where they are, etc. by slowly being given their story as you go back through time. It's a really cool way of filling us in, revealing the mystery.... My only problem was that I was expecting the novel to twist and pull the rug out from under me like in the previous two Waters novels. Instead, I found the story kind of predictable and the ending disatisfying. I wanted to know much more about the characters than what we were given.

Good points were that the characters were really interesting and the backward format was well done. I liked the story itself and the telling of it. I just wish the story were longer and fuller. The lack of length and depth left me wanting more in a very wistful way -- because the story starts in despair and goes backward to a more hopeful time, you do end up feeling a bit more hopeful but again in a wistful way. Maybe that was her point. That after all is said and done, we look back to better times.

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