Sunday 19 October 2014

Book Review Cover Your Eyes by Adele Geras


Eva was once a legendary fashion designer until, mysteriously, she retired. Now widowed, she lives with her family in Salix House, the home she's owned and loved for forty years. When the family announces it's time to sell, Eva is deeply reluctant. The house contains memories and secrets that are part of her, although she never shares them. Megan is a fashion journalist working in London who interviewed Eva for a magazine. Torn apart by the brutal end of a love affair, Megan is drawn back to Salix House and Eva. Decades apart in age, the two women share a bond. Both are hiding something, but perhaps together they can confront their fears, their past pain and their uncertain futures - and discover the truth of Salix House's secrets

My Musings

A story of two women at different times in their lives, a young writer Megan is having an affair and Eve,  an 80 year old former fashion designer  is about to be forced to leave her home. Their lives entwine and secrets are uncovered. 

Megan, ends up becoming a nanny and companion for Eve and her grandchildren after being dumped by her married lover and leaving her job. Intermingled is Eve's story of her loves and career. Geras is a wonderful children's writer but this is the first adult fiction book of hers I have read. The premise of two strong women is interesting but the fragile balance between the two are, I found, too fragmented, which meant I became irritated about where the story was going. That said I was  tempted enough to carry on reading. 

I also had an issue with both protagonists. They are both selfish in their own way and you feel little sympathy for them, especially in the beginning. However the story reveals how they battle with their own demons past and present which keeps you hooked. It was this that will keep you reading even though Eva's story especially is a little far fetched. Would the trauma of a four year old really crystalise into having a cold relationship with her daughter. There is also a ghostly presence that I never quite got.

This dual plot formula seems to be very much of the moment but it could have been handled better , especially by such an experienced author. I felt it was rushed out to the orders of her publisher. It was unbalanced and even though the ending was very neatly tidied up I felt it was too neat for the extreme events that had preceded. Eva exposes her secret to her daughter and they go on to play happy families? And why has it been kept secret? Megan falls for a property developer and suddenly he has a crisis of conscience? 

I really felt that this could have been great but needed more editing and sharpening up. Its a good holiday read but instantly forgettable. Disappointing from such a gifted writer. 

One's to read by Adele Geras
Troy- Great retelling of a Greek Myth from the servants point of view. Suitable from 11+

For Dual plot 
Mrs Sinclair's Suitcase by Louise Walters
The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton

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