The House of Memories by Monica McInerney
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I was disappointed with this effort from McInerney, who I consider one of my favourite writers within the chick-lit/light women's fiction category. It just wasn't convincing - I didn't believe in the characters struggles like I have in the other books I have read by McInerney.
It is not that these struggles were impossible, Ella and her families struggles are incredibly sad, but I felt unmoved by the writing. And moving writing is generally what I love about McInerney! The characters were unconvincing, and their personalities were not thought out. I took issue particularly with the way Jess was written - it felt so absurd that someone could exist in that way. Usually, no matter the character and how unrealistic they may be, McInerney is able to convince me of the opposite.
Overall, I feel that this is a poor effort on McInerney's part, and possibly her publisher's, as I feel she has rushed through this book. There are details missing, things that don't add up and unlike McInerney's usual style, the ending just happens. It is hardly a resolution: one minute they all appear to hate each other, next minute they're "moving on" together (not as if nothing has happened, but certainly without any narrative discussion).
A rushed and unconvincing set of characters and storyline makes for an unhappy loyal reader.