A Place of Secrets begins with Jude, an auctioneer, being asked to value a collection of scientific instruments near her childhood home in Norfolk. She jumps at the chance to leave London, look over the valuable pieces, and catch up with her Gran, who still lives nearby.
Unfortunately I can’t tell you what happens after that as I gave up. This book is 450 pages long and if I am to dedicate that amount of time to a book then I need to be fully engaged. The writing failed to connect with me from the start. There was a large amount of dialogue and it didn’t feel natural.
‘Listen, quickly, how do you think Gran is? I’m going to stay with her on Thursday night.’
‘Oh she’ll love that.’ Claire’s voice softened. ‘She’s all right, Jude, a bit frail. Summer and I took her to buy shoes in Sheringham on Saturday. It was a bit of an ordeal because they didn’t have her usual style but we found something in the end. What are you doing down here in the middle of the week, then?’
‘I know it’s a great coincidence, but I’m visiting Starbrough Hall to value some stuff.’
‘Starbrough Hall? Really? Well Gran will fill you in about that. Look, I’ve got to go.’
The writing didn’t flow very well and felt jumpy. At the 70 page mark I considered giving up and went to check reviews on Amazon. There was a good spread of people who ranged from loving it to hating it, but I noticed that many people shared my opinion on the writing. Some also felt that there were too many coincidences and as I had already spotted a few I can only imagine how this could worsen with another 400 pages. I decided that it probably wasn’t a good idea to continue and so moved on to a book I would find more enjoyable.
Recommended to anyone who enjoys the above passage.
I have now tried all of Richard and Judy’s 2010 Winter Reads.
Keep an eye out for my summary later this week!