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a slow start but it was good
The Patchwork Marriage - Jane Green
Member Name: hlb2009
The Patchwork Marriage - Jane Green
Disadvantages: quite slow starting
I have read a couple of Jane Green's books and when I saw this on offer in Tesco I thought I would buy it as I had enjoyed her previous work. I do not think it is as good as what she has written before but i am glad I stuck at it as actually it was very well written.
The story tells of Andi and her marriage to Ethan. It begins from Andi's perspective telling about how difficult she is finding being a step mother to Ethan's two children when she so desperately wants a child of her own. Andi struggles hard to be a good mother to Emily who is seventeen and constantly trying to play her father off against her and is the cause of many family conflicts. Andi begins to question her marriage and whether all the drama that Emily creates is worth it. As the story progresses we get to see other peoples' perspectives and how they feel about what is going on and what has gone before and this opens up a whole new image as to what Andi is seeing. The story progresses to tell how when a family crisis happens how it impacts on others and the stress it can put upon them.
The characters are very well formed. Andi, who begins the story, is going through a difficult time in her life, you can feel her anxieties and concerns. As a reader it was very easy to relate to her and feel her frustration which I think is a sign of a very well written book. I stopped a few times and asked myself what I would do in her predicament and I concluded that I would be as confused as she was. The other main character in this is Emily, the step daughter. Part way through the book we get to hear the story through her own words and this made it possible to understand her a little better and get to know her instead of it just being through Andi's point of view. She was volatile and miserable, constantly lashing out, it was easy to hate her at one point then feel terribly sorry for her the next. I think the way that Jane Green created these characters was very special, you did get to understand how they all slotted together, how families were created because of them and how it lead to so many dramas. By the end of the book i felt as though I knew them very well and actually I was quite sad to finish it.
What I thought
Now the book i have given 4 stars, not 5. The main reason for this is because it was very slow to get starting. The first 150 pages were mainly just introducing the set up and explaining who everyone was. There was little action at all and an awful lot of description and going back to explaining things. I felt that this really made the book drag, I know that it set the scene but it was quite a laborious process and there were times when I wondered whether or not to keep going with this book.
Aside from the above complaint the rest of the book was good enough to warrant 4 stars. The story was nothing spectacular, it wasn't full of hard-hitting drama or crazily dreamt up storylines but actually it was quite a normal story which I imagine many families face and this made it very believable and helped me as a reader to relate to it and question how I would react in the same situations. I thought the characters were very well made up, they were easy to relate to, I did feel as though I knew them by the end of the book which I think is a sign of a very clever writer.
What I also liked is that I never knew wat was going to happen. Was Andi going to leave Ethan? What would Emily do next? And I think it was this curiosity that made me continue to read on in the beginning when it was quite a slow start.
In all I would recommend this book. It isn't the best by Jane Green but it is decent enough and one which I am glad I stuck with and finished.
Summary: 4 stars