The Barrowlands by Phillip Lewis

I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to write a review for this book for two reasons: 1- I couldn’t finish it 2) I didn’t enjoy it.
But in the interest of being honest I decided to do it anyway. A good novel for me is one with an amazing style, characters who come to life and a story that keeps me engaged. This novel had a good style but it was not consistent. Here is my review:

I had to preserve with the beginning of this book as it did not hook me. I expected to read a dark, gothic story that was what appealed to me about the description of this book. But it did not live up to it’s description.  I got to the part where they move to the gothic house with it’s amazing library I thought that the story was going somewhere, I thought maybe it’s going to be a gothic tale -Poe is mentioned after all-  maybe I just have to go past the beginning set up and now the story will begin.
 But it never did.  It reads like a memoir but one that rambles on. And on. Sometimes the author skips ahead a month or years, the narrative just jumps around too much. A detail was given late in the story about a nickname the main character calls his sister, as though the author had thought of this late in the novel but not thought to go back and add it in the beginning.

Parts of this book did draw me in and I loved the writing, it was atmospheric and intriguing. But it’s like the book is written by two different people- one moment  the language and the style is lovely (not called literary fiction for nothing). But the next moment it reads more like a report than a story. I go from being drawn in to bored.

I didn’t feel like I was involved or immersed enough in the story either and I could not connect with the main character at all.  I had no sympathy for the way he cut himself off from his family with no reasoning behind it. If this character was a real person you’d just think he was arrogant and self-involved, why would we want to read a story about him? He doesn’t appear to have any redeeming features.

I couldn’t recommend it, if you love literary fiction you will be let down by the parts that don’t seem to fit. And if you love fiction in general you will wonder why you should bother reading a book that doesn’t grip you or seem to have a point.

I tried to get into the book, I tried over and over but each time I was frustrated. I hate not finishing a book, but I also don’t wish to waste time reading a book I don’t enjoy when there are so many out there that I could be enjoying instead.