Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Space Between Trees

Not your everyday coming-of-age novel
This story was supposed to be about Evie how she hasn't made a friend in years, how she tends to stretch the truth (especially about her so-called relationship with college drop-out Jonah Luks), and how she finally comes into her own once she learns to just be herself but it isn't. Because when her classmate Elizabeth "Zabet" McCabe's murdered body is found in the woods, everything changes and Evie's life is never the same again.

Beth says 3 Stars…

This novel didn’t sit well with me. Initially I thought it would be a murder mystery filled with intensity and plot twists, but it wasn’t. It ended up as a coming of age type-story, which contrasted oddly with the supposed mystery. Honestly, because I expected something more based on the murder so the plot disappointed me. I also am not the biggest fan of coming of age type novels, so that worked against this book in my eyes as well. I didn’t find the plot particularly compelling or that original. It didn’t pull me in… I could definitely put it down. There weren’t really any shocking twists in the story line, but it seemed convoluted at times and didn’t always make sense to me. I will say that I found the prose enchanting. I really liked the way Williams wrote for some reason, and that’s what really kept me interested in the book.

As far as characters go, I didn’t connect well with Evie. Her compulsive lying and constant fantasies grated on my nerves. Although I did understand that she used them to escape from her reality, it made her seem very weak and I frankly had trouble understanding her. She did grow some, which I appreciated, but she started out in a place where growth was a necessity to accomplish anything. I will say that I thought Zabet was very interesting and I only wish that she had been alive to actually contribute and have interactions with the other characters. Her memory remained one of the most fascinating points of the book, and the survivor’s guilt suffered by everyone else provided more insights into their minds than anything else. Hadley had so many more layers that she interested me more than Evie. Despite the fact that she could be a terrible person more than occasionally, her ups and downs absolutely fascinated me.

I’m still not sure what entirely to say about this book. I came into it with completely unrealistic and mistaken expectations, which hurt the novel in my eyes. If you’re looking for something mysterious this isn’t it at all, despite what the set up leads you to believe. This is for people who absolutely love realistic fiction and can’t get enough of coming of age stories. It wasn’t that bad, but it certainly wasn’t very good. If this isn’t your normal cup of tea then it’s one to skip over.


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