Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Just Finished Reading: The Promise of Happiness

Book number two since Easter and this one's only taken a fortnight! Things are looking up and maybe restoration of my normally prolific reading habit will be a indication that I'm well enough to resume usual life again. This one looked promising. Mr Lovelygrey liked it and there's a plethora of positive reviews from the quality press on the back cover. Whether the Daily Mail comes into this category depends on your viewpoint but enough said....

...Anyway, the feedback on Amazon gives a very mixed picture of The Promise Of Happiness ranging from a one to five star rating. And do you know, even though, I enjoyed this book whilst reading it, I think that those who were scathing have a point.

It's the story of a well to do English family whose lives have been torn apart by the imprisonment of their daughter for art crime.  The 'Independent on Sunday' described it as funny, angry and moving so I was looking forward to a text interspersed with laughs.  When this guy does humour he's quite adept at it.  Cue the main characters' visits to a Mexican restaurant and fluffed attempts at fish cookery in spite of attendance at one of  Rick Stein's courses.  But these come near the beginning and for me, the giggles fizzled out far too quickly.

But my main disappointment was that story doesn't go anywhere.   All the characters are left in limbo at the end of the book  and is there any of the happiness that it promised?  I'm not sure.  It felt like this  is a part work but alas Mr Cartwright has not produced a sequel, as far as I know.  However, this ultimate sense of unfulfilment will not prevent me reading more of this chap's work as some of that feedback on Amazon suggest that this might be one of his weaker offerings and the journey to the end of the book wasn't half bad.

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