Monday, May 25, 2015
#REVIEW - The Rocks by Peter Nichols New Release Tuesday, 5-26-15
A romantic page-turner propelled by the sixty-year secret that has shaped two families, four lovers, and one seaside resort community.
Set against dramatic Mediterranean Sea views and lush olive groves, The Rocks opens with a confrontation and a secret: What was the mysterious, catastrophic event that drove two honeymooners apart so suddenly and absolutely in 1948 that they never spoke again despite living on the same island for sixty more years? And how did their history shape the Romeo and Juliet–like romance of their (unrelated) children decades later? Centered around a popular seaside resort club and its community, The Rocks is a double love story that begins with a mystery, then moves backward in time, era by era, to unravel what really happened decades earlier.
Peter Nichols writes with a pervading, soulful wisdom and self-knowing humor, and captures perfectly this world of glamorous, complicated, misbehaving types with all their sophisticated flaws and genuine longing. The result is a bittersweet, intelligent, and romantic novel about how powerful the perceived truth can be—as a bond, and as a barrier—even if it’s not really the whole story; and how one misunderstanding can echo irreparably through decades.
You would think by the description of this book that is would have to be one of the BEST books this summer - nope! Not at all, not in the least for myself, and I read a LOT of books! I could not stand to read this book, and I did NOT look forward to reading it, either. This book was supposed to explain a sixty-year love story, but this book was not a love story. I could not relate to these characters at all, in fact, they irritated me! I did not like these two characters’ children who were from separate marriages, after their divorce, either. They are Luc and and Gerald. Lulu puts her son down terribly, and Luc was Luc. I need to be able to relate to characters in a story in order to enjoy it. This author fell very short in this area. I kept asking myself ‘WHY did I choose this backwards book to read?’ I don’t know. This book sounded good from the description, but in my opinion, it did not live up to the description at all. I’m sure there are those of you out there who will LOVE this book, as there always are differing opinions, but for myself, I did not like it at all. Yes, I did say this book is written backwards. Perhaps the author thought this might make him stand out against the rest of the competition out there, but all it did for me as I read it was to confuse the heck out of me! The writing style was very difficult for me to follow as the writing was choppy, given the circumstances as to how this is written backwards. (WHO writes a book backwards???) The writing is also overly descriptive, as we already know this takes place in Mallorca, a Greek Island off the coast of Spain in the Mediterranean, so we didn’t need conversations or parts of the story interrupted so the author could go on and gush about the scenery. In a way it was irritating because it took away from my own imagination of what I thought things looked like. It was way overdone. It’s like watching a movie of a book you read. Your imagination is ruined from the movie because it’s not what you thought things looked like. Actually. I think the author loves this area, so he was gushing here and there. Again, this backwards writing style got me confused at times. I don’t ever want to read another book like it again!
This book is supposed to be a love story. There is NO love story in this book, at least almost the entire book had zero love story to it. There may be the very few sentences after Lulu and Gerald were married when they were happy, and to be honest, at the end, this huge climax of what split these two up was nothing! This book starts off with Gerald and Lulu meeting up decades later, close to the end of life. Lulu already had had what they thought was a stroke and then a verified stroke. She was NASTY! She swore like a banshee woman. The kids said she was like that after the stroke, so was it REALLY hatred towards Gerald, or was that behavior from the stroke? That was not clear. You could not tell if she really did not like him or if she acted that way because of the stroke.I could cover the part where the author brings in the book, The Odyssey, but I'll leave that for you. It's way overdone.
I wanted to like this book more than I did, but I didn’t. It is simple as that. Pass.
One more thing. Was this author trying to write a Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter? Taking a part of his book and then we have this? I wonder???I would like to thank the publisher, Riverhead, and NetGalley, for the opportunity to read this in advance in exchange for my opinion.
Posted by Laurie Carlson at 8:59 PM