Newest Review: ... grandchildren in the play park every Thursday. Ray is George's age but different from him in every way; Ray is kind, active and attractiv... more
Thursdays in the Park - Hilary Boyd
Member Name: hlb2009
Thursdays in the Park - Hilary Boyd
Advantages: doesn't tax your brain
Disadvantages: is very weak
Well my run of good reads couldn't last forever! That is now two disappointing books in a row which I haven't really enjoyed reading and have felt let down by. I had been recommended this book by a few people and apparently it's really popular at the moment, the reviews on Amazon sounded promising and I thought if it's so popular then it must have something about it... sadly I was disappointed.
This story tells of Jeanie and George. Jeanie is approaching her 60th birthday and it appears that she has some hesitations, she doesn't feel old yet people keep referring to her as being so including her husband and daughter. Her husband is really very keen to move away to the country and ignores Jeanie's protests about being quite happy where she is. He pretty much ignores her opinions and goes ahead and looks at houses and such anyway. Whilst all the pressure of moving to the country is happening, Jeanie takes her granddaughter to the park every Thursday and this is where she meets Ray who looks after his grandson. She has an instant connection with this stranger, they agree to meet regularly and it soon turns into much more than innocent meetings. Things haven't been happy between Jeanie and George for a while, there is an elephant in the room but it is never spoken about until when Jeanie eventually admits to George that she has feelings for someone else. Will this elephant, now out in the open, lead to Jeanie and George being happy again? Will moving to the country really help?
The characters were created to an average extent as far as I am concerned. I found them really quite irritating and wasn't sure if they were supposed to be or not or whether Boyd just didn't create them quite the way she intended. George confused me as he was quite domineering yet they would often describe him as being a constant, solid and so forth yet the way he was wasn't at all consistent. Jeanie frustrated me as she was created to be shown as someone who was head-strong, who knew what she wanted yet she seemed as though she just gave up really easily, kind of shrugged off that people didn't take her seriously and then would just moan about it afterwards.If she was so head strong and capable then why was she not fighting her corner? These contradictions didn't really make the story any worse but they do mean that actually being able to relate or get to know the characters really well for very difficult to do.
This story was weak. If you have read a chick lit book before then you will have pretty much read this! It is nothing new at all and so predictable from the word go. I think that Boyd tried to create a sense of mystery about what secret George was hiding but it didn't seem to really have that effect, I didn't feel compelled to read because I wanted to know what his secret was, in fact I just got frustrated that Jeanie had lived with it and didn't do anything about it for over ten years. I can see that the author was really trying to add twists and turns with putting in the aspect of a move to the country, Jeanie not getting on with her son in law and so forth but these were never built up enough, they were always just background details and there just was not enough meat in this book for me.
I couldn't understand how some parts came about. One minute Jeanie was adamant that she was not moving yet then a few pages later she would be looking around houses with George and there had been no dialogue about how he had persuaded her to look or her thoughts on how he had done so. I was a bit confused and wondering why she had gone with him if she was so against it but this part seemed to be missing. I found it frustrating to think that she went along with such a big move, it was as though the author was also dismissing the importance of a move; how can an older couple move away from everything they know just like that? it was very strange how Jeanie who could run a business and be strong enough to tell her husband she had feelings for someone else still went ahead with moving with him instead of standing her ground.
I found that the affair was really full of clinches so much so that it was awkward to read without wanting to cringe and trying to remember where I'd heard the lines before. I think what was missing in this book was emotion, I didn't feel pulled towards a character so I wasn't compelled to find out what happened, I just felt I was reading for the sake of getting to the end. I had hoped there would be a twist of some form so that I could say it had been worth my time but sadly there were no twists.
Another thing that I found odd was when George had a depressive episode. It was described in a bizarre way and he seemed to suddenly just snap out of it one day. It was far from convincing, anyone who has been through depression themselves will see that even when you do see the light and begin to recover it's not a case of you can suddenly just snap out of it. Again, it wasn't convincing at all.
I was disappointed by this book. It was alright, it was tame enough and an easy read, it didn't tax the brain at all but it just wasn't compelling and it was actually quite depressing most of the way through with nobody being happy. I won't recommend this!
Summary: really poor