I should have known not to read another book by Sebastian Faulks. The last book I read of his was a total bore. But alas this book was ready to be picked up from the library so I gave him another chance. And yet again I was disappointed…
So a bit about the plot without giving anything away….(well, to be honest there’s really nothing to give away – there is neither conflict – maybe there is but it just didn’t come well for me – nor excitement, just a total flatliner I’m afraid)….It’s basically about a middle-aged psychiatric doctor name Robert Hendricks who, out of the blue, gets an invitation to visit an elderly retired doctor (Alexander Pereira) on an idyllic French island. The onset of this visit reinvigorated his WWII memories, where he experienced real comradeship and falling in love. As he reconciled with his past, he also realised certain aspects of his life – such as why he has never had proper and stable relationships.
The book wasn’t all bad I suppose. I cried when I read Hendrick’s father’s letters to his mum. I think it was the slow pace of the story that I didn’t like. Faulks seems to write in a long drawn out way then suddenly quickens just towards the end. I just wished that he get on with the point. He also seems to question about establishments and why we conform to such things.
I did learn some things though:
- A bit of understanding about people who suffer from schizophrenia
- Doctors may treat mental disorder/madness with malaria
- War sux!