Thursday, 25 September 2014

In the Land of Birdfishes by Rebecca Silver Slayter

When I had eyes, I saw my sister's hair (yellow), my mother's back, small rocks that the water took out and in from the shore with gasps of its deep ocean lungs.

The opening paragraph goes on to explain that this narrator also lost her hands, lost everything very slowly. Then the next paragraph begins with back story with some family history. Not very interesting at least not at the beginning. A scene unfolds on page 3, but I can't get into it, as it's a family beach scene, and without introducing conflict first, I have no reason to care. The author goes the route of trying to get readers caring about the characters first. The way to do that is to have them confronted with conflict.

Nevertheless, there is a kernel of a hook in the opening paragraph, as this character seems to be falling apart. This will attract most readers, but if the writer doesn't get back to it soon, readers like me lose interest, unless another problem is introduced or at least foreshadowed.

First thing said:

"Let's go with Mother."

There is not much to add or say. The back story is standard family history stuff. There are a couple nice one liners but not enough to keep reading past a couple pages. I'm not the only one, as the library copy I have was bookmarked a couple pages in.

Verdict: Fail

Theodore Moracht

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