Overall rating: ★☆☆☆☆, 1/5
Length: 555 pages
Genre: Literary fiction/Mystery
Blurb: Twelve-year-old Harriet is doing her best to grow up, which is not easy as her mother is permanently on medication, her father has moved to another city, and her serene sister rarely notices anything. All of them are still suffering from the shocking and mysterious death of her bother Robin twelve years ago, and it seems to Harriet that the family may never recover. So, inspired by Captain Scott, Houdini and Robert Louis Stevenson, she sets out with her only friend Helly to find Robin’s murder and punish him. But what starts as a child’s game soon becomes a dark and dangerous journey into menacing underworld of a small Mississippi town.
Review: I feel like I tried my best with this book. But having finished an English degree only fairly recently I still don’t feel ready to read 500 pages of information that I (maybe arrogantly) couldn’t help but deem irrelevant and useless.
I managed 50 pages, which is perhaps a poor effort, but I found myself skipping whole paragraphs in order to come across the juicy stuff… I am yet to discover said juicy stuff.
I am somewhat disappointed in myself, as the premise for this book seemed really interesting and I’d have loved to stick around to find out what happened to Robin, but I didn’t bond with the characters and found the contents of this book dull.
There’s no doubt that Tartt is a fantastic writer and her prose is well crafted, but there was practically no plot development in the 50 pages I read. I’m all for background info and character development but this seemed overdone. I think at the end of the novel I’d have ended up knowing Harriet better than I know myself. Whether that’s a good thing or not, I’ll let somebody else decide.