Writing a novel is hard. Damned hard. For every successful author there are ten writers who either have an idea for a book they never write, have attempted to write a book that sits dust-covered on a shelf, or has written a book that they self-published in an over-zealous attempt to gain fame/money. So, I admire any writer who can finish a quality book, even if I’m not particularly fond of it.
That being said…
Everyone has their favorite genre and I’m no different. I am partial to women’s fiction and family situation type reads. When I picked Ten Days up, the blurb read like something I’d be interested in.
The premise was good. I liked the alternating POVs, although I am still baffled by the significance of the Rose Marie character, especially since she was one of the main POV characters. I wish my likes had been greater, but unfortunately, this is where they end.
Both Jake and Anna are melodramatic. Jake, by constantly thinking of himself, how his life could have been (Monica), and what he could/should have done differently the night his son became ill. I lost count of how many times he thought, ‘if only I was home’, ‘if only I had asked the right questions’, ‘if only Anna had realized the seriousness’, leaving me to believe that the book should have been titled, If Only.
Anna suffers from distorted thinking. Her thoughts are filtered. She takes facts, filters them through her mind and comes out of it with all of the negative aspects, the positive being discarded. She is an unlikable character from the onset. She is needy, over critical, and paranoid (she believes a man at the hospital wants her son to die so that his daughter can have his liver, she saw the ‘wish’ on his face!?!)
Aside from the characters not being well-drawn or even likable, the writing took me out of the story too many times to find it enjoyable. For instance, on page 128 – a nurse asks Anna if she wants to see the visitor who is in the waiting room. Three paragraphs later, Anna replies. During those three paragraphs Anna’s internalization covers everything except the visitor, such as why her husband didn’t come home the night their son became ill and how she was possibly able to sleep through the night, etc.,. It’s basically an entire book of them beating themselves up (both taking blame and laying blame) over their son becoming ill.
The book starts off extremely slow. I felt the beginning chapters were included as filler to plump up an otherwise ‘light’ book. Too much talk about water heaters, the bridge and the woman who died when she went over it leading one to believe that the bridge would play a significant role in the book. The story is about ten days in the life of a family after their son becomes ill. It is painfully drawn out. There is so much internalization, most of it a repeat of the last time we were given access to their thoughts.
I believed when the second child was struck with meningitis it would pick up, but that didn’t happen. When I know I’m going to give a review I don’t skip or skim, but I found reading every word excruciating. Many words without much being said and so little forward movement. I come in under the 3.7 average given by Amazon and the 3.1 given by Goodreads with 2-stars. But again, I applaud the author’s ability to get her story on paper, even if it wasn’t something I found enjoyable.
Kathy Reinhart is the author of the award-winning Lily White Lies.