Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Wednesday WTF: Misleading Readers

Fog Island Mountains
by Michelle-Bailat-Jones
176 pages
$6.99 Kindle version
Fog Island Mountains by Michelle Bailat-Jones is described as a reinterpretation of the Japanese folktale tradition, and I strongly disagree. This is not story-telling, this is just telling, and a bad telling at that. The story revolves around the diagnosis of terminal cancer to Alec, husband and father, but more is revealed about the motions the characters go through, than their actual feelings, which is really disappointing considering the gravity of the situation. Perhaps it is the haphazard writing style: the POVs are told through a narrator and they change often and without any warning, and the relationship of the narrator to the other characters is never made clear.

My main purpose in reading any fiction book is to be entertained in some way, regardless of genre, and that didn't happen. I have no idea what the author was trying to achieve by writing this book, nor do I know what target audience she had in mind.. The award given to this novel is given to stories with the topic of serious illness, but do not take that as an indication of the quality of the writing. I normally love stories with foreign settings, but I could find nothing to enjoy about this family drama.

I feel that absolutely nothing is resolved between any of the characters. Many issues are introduced, such as sibling conflict, unplanned pregnancy, infidelity, and, of course, terminal illness, but the author never stays with any one topic long enough for the family dynamics to make an impact, one way or another. I feel like the author was introducing characters to fill the pages, rather than using them to propel the storyline.

I wish this story had lived up to the description on the back cover.

As always,

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