Recently my pile of 'to reads' has been growing at a worrying rate, it appears that far from simply enjoying books I have become addicted to buying them, a state of affairs which means the book man at work has become one of my best friends.
On one of his recent visits he offered up a set of three books by one author for a mere £5, Jessica Adams the author in question is no someone I have ever heard of previously but she has written several books other than the three I bought.
The first of the three that I got around to reading was I'm a Believer.
Teacher Mark has just lost his girlfriend Catherine in a car accident, and at her funeral he starts to see and hear her again, which would be fine but he doesnt believe in life after death and finds mediums, Horoscopes and the like faintly ridiculous.
His friends Felix and Alison are trying in their own ways to help him, but he cant tell them he's still talking to Catherine can he? And why is it he feels drawn to Tess, teachers aide who sings in a Christian band at the weekends?
While I found individual characters amusing as a whole I felt this book simply bimbled along which nothing much going on, I never felt that Mark was all that upset over losing the woman he was meant to love which as it was the central premise of the plot meant the book to me at least felt directionless. The lack of drive behind the plot meant I found it very hard to concentrate on reading this, it took me almost a week to read and as it has only 380 pages for me thats a long time to spend on one book.
On more than one occasion I found myself turning the page back to re-read sections I had just read as I thought I must have missed something, what was interesting (or not) is that on each of these occasions when I read the sections again I found that I actually hadnt missed anything, nothing ever seemed to happen. Even the events of September 11th in New York which are dealt with in the book seem to be glossed over as a minor happening, despite it being a fairly important event in the plot as well.
Overall I wouldnt rate this book highly, the plot is weak and limited, possibly something which would have worked better as a short story in a magazine somewhere, the characters were for the most part quite dull, certainly you never empathised with Mark, in fact the character I most liked was the dead Catherine and it was less of liking her and more wondering why she put up with Mark for as long as she apparently had.
For what I paid Im not that bothered that I didnt enjoy this book, but it has meant the other two books in the set have been put to the bottom of my 'to read' pile, and chances are they'll end up being a last resort when one day I finish all the others I have yet to read. In the meantime my copy of I'm a Believer is in another stack of books those that I'm trying to get rid of.