Saturday, April 05, 2008

Books: The Peacock Emporium

The Peacock Emporium
By JoJo Moyes
Copyright 2004
435 pages

This book took me longer to read than most, partly because I've been sick and I tend not to read much when I'm ill, but also because this thing left me scratching my head a lot and I put it down and picked it back up several times.

If you suffer through the first 70 pages, you'll find the story. The initial pages have their place but the author would have been better served to have started the book at "Part Two" and added those other pages as flashbacks or something.

The book would have benefited highly from a good editor; there were enough typos or punctuation problems for me to comment on it. I am generally forgiving but if I am looking as much for misplaced or lacking commas as I am the content, there's a problem.

The author writes very long sentences that left me breathless, not to mention searching for the subject noun. Again, a little editing would have made this more readable.

That's what wrong with the book. What's right is the character of Suzanne, once you finally get to her. She's the meat of this big sandwich and a very complex young woman she is. She is unhappy and trying to find herself. Her journey is intriguing and I liked that part of the story when I wasn't being aggravated by the rest of the book.

This is from the book jacket:

Thirty-five years on, Suzanna Peacock finds refuge from her mother's shameful legacy in her shop, the Peacock Emporium. Within its magical walls she discovers not just friendship, and an escape from her troubled marriage, but the first real passion of her life.

If the book had stuck to that, I'd have given it at least 3.5 stars.

As it stands, though, I can just barely give it 2 stars.

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