A couple of DNFs from the last few weeks which I thought were worth rounding up, but not worth full reviews (I didn’t give them the 100 pages / 25% that I set myself as a minimum to write a DNF review).
THE SEA CHANGE – Joanna Rossiter
This was a review copy from Penguin, I think, although it has the look of a free book with a magazine. Anyhow, I got 45 pages into this and in one storyline, there was a woman frantically searching for her husband in a tsunami, in 1970s India, and in the other story, her mother was reliving her childhood as the parson’s daughter in an idyllic English village. i.e. loads was happening in one storyline but we weren’t staying there long enough to figure out what was going on, and in the other, nothing was happening.
DNF. And leave in the hotel lounge somewhere.
NAGASAKI – Eric Faye
A middle-aged man in Japan is convinced that a person or some other presence is helping themselves to the contents of his kitchen while he is at work every day. This is a very slim volume, not even 160 pages of large text, but 60 pages in nothing was really happening, so out it went.
THE LITTLE OLD LADY WHO BROKE ALL THE RULES – Catharina Ingelman-Sundberg
Bought this because it looked very similar to The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out Of The Window And Disappeared – and it was, after a sense. Martha is tired of sub-standard service in her retirement home and is determined to break free to a better life. With a group of friends (The League of Pensioners), they go in pursuit of the wealth of the rich and famous. It really was a lot like The Hundred-Year-Old Man (I’m not typing out that whole title again), but not as funny, and it felt very much copied. 65 pages in and I wasn’t really invested in the story. I think the author made a difficult task for herself having 5 major characters – they became impossible to develop separately.
BORN IN SIBERIA – Tamara Astafieva
This is a very personal account of life in Stalinist Russia as a child – the text is collected from notebooks and poems left behind by Astafieva and edited into a memoir of sorts by a friend. If you’re interested in life in twentieth century Russia, this could be right up your street. It wasn’t for me.