With the children back at school, I thought (crazy idea really) there would be more time to devote to reading, reviewing and this blog but as fates would have it, life just got more hectic and crazy busy! The thing is, I’ve been reading at my usual pace, but just haven’t found the quiet time needed to collect my thoughts and feelings for the books that have passed through my hands. Some have been duds but others have been absolute gems; so bear with me folks, because there will be many, many reviews in the coming days. Since I’m also ‘trying’ to participate in the Goodreads Seasonal Reading Challenge I’ll also be posting the tasks each of the books fulfills, if you’d like to follow along.
First up on my list is Days of Awe by Lauren Fox.
Recently separated from her husband Chris, and in a difficult relationship with her young daughter, Hannah, Isabel Moore, a forty-something teacher is struggling to overcome the grief that has consumed her since the tragic (and somewhat puzzling) death of her best friend Josie a year ago. Conflicted by her loyalty to Josie and feelings of self-reproach for the mysterious and difficult circumstances surrounding her death, Isabel is just trying to survive day to day, dealing with the paralysing and debilitating effects of her depression and grief. When her mother suggests she joins a support group, Isabel is initially reluctant but then the chance meeting with a new man, opens up Isabel to the possibility of hope and a new lease on her future.
Lauren Fox is a good writer and I commend her for the great job she did in creating the emotionally traumatised, broken and grieving character of Isabel. I just wished I could reach out and hug her and give her the support she needed through her tough time because this is what he so desperately needed and somehow never got from the people around her. Because just as great as Isabel’s character was created, that is how much the others, including Isabel’s husband and friend Mark were lacking. They came across as cold, uncaring and impatient, and gave the impression that they found Isabel and her behaviour to be a nuisance.
I’m feeling like a broken record because I find myself repeating the same words I have written in many reviews this year. Unfortunately, Days of Awe is just another example of what happens when writing (although at times good) lets down the entire storyline of a book. So many great ideas were started or implied but nothing came of them because of vague and lacklustre word usage. It’s like reading a book of cliff-hangers…so frustrating!
Days of Awe has left me conflicted and somewhat indifferent. Even after many weeks of reflection, I’m still not quite sure where I stand when it comes to liking this book. Weighing all the reasons listed above (both the good and the bad), I am giving Days of Awe 2/5 stars. It was neither good nor bad, just ok.
Thank you to NetGalley and Knopf for providing me an advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review.